Teaching the Holocaust: Innovative Approaches to the Challenges We Face – Free Online MOOC

UCL Centre for Holocaust Education and Yad Vashem  have come together to develop this unique MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that offers educators innovative approaches to the challenges presented when teaching about the Holocaust.

Over the three weeks participants explore the history, delve into pedagogical challenges revealed by research, and find practical solutions for teaching about the Holocaust.

We are delighted that in our first run of the course we had over 2000 enrolments from 89 different countries and enthusiastic reviews from our participants.  You can hear from those participants on the first run of the course here.

Our second run of the course will launch on October 11th 2021. Claim your free place here.

See the trailer for the MOOC here.

Course introduction

The Holocaust was the murder of approximately 6 million Jews perpetrated by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. That this atrocity proved possible raises many complex questions which remain relevant for young people today.

During this course you will enrich your understanding of the history of the Holocaust, hearing from scholars at Yad Vashem, whilst experts from UCL will share their research into teaching and learning about the Holocaust.

By the end of the course you will have also considered innovative pedagogical approaches and resources, becoming empowered to develop your own material.

Course syllabus

Week 1

  • Introduction to the History of the Holocaust: What was the Holocaust?
  • Overview of Jewish life before the war
  • The roots of antisemitism
  • The story of the late Holocaust survivor Leon Greenman
  • The beginning and un-folding of the Holocaust 1933-onwards
  • Emigration options for Jewish people and the reception of refugees around the world
  • The beginning of the Second World War and the Holocaust from 1939 onwards
  • The ghettos
  • The development of the ‘Final Solution’
  • Resistance and rescue
  • Concentration and extermination camps
  • Liberation
  • Return to life

Week 2

  • Can young people grasp the enormity of this history?
  • What are the challenges that teachers face?
  • What do students know and understand about the Holocaust?
  • What are the issues in textbooks?
  • Using atrocity images? An ethical question
  • What are the implications of misconceptions?
  • How do we teach about the Holocaust in a world without survivors?

Week 3

  • What are key pedagogical principles to keep in mind?
  • How can we apply key pedagogical principles in our teaching practice?
  • How can we address misconceptions?
  • How can using artefacts deepen student understanding of the Holocaust?
  • Theory into practice: Developing your own classroom material



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