What do students know and understand about the Holocaust? Evidence from English secondary schools

The latest ground-breaking research from the Centre, published in October 2016, explores what young people know and understand about the Holocaust in English schools today.

What do students know and understand about the Holocaust?

This research draws on contributions from more than 8,000 11-18 year olds, making it the world’s largest ever study of its kind.

It included a comprehensive survey and a series of in-depth interviews with more than 200 young people to build the most detailed and authoritative national portrait ever created of students’ knowledge and understanding of an important historical event.

Many of our findings are surprising, some deeply troubling, all will help to shape the future of Holocaust education for years to come.

Our evidence shows many young people encounter learning about the Holocaust in school and we know that they are interested and willing to learn more.  However, significantly, their knowledge and understanding of the subject is often limited and based on inaccuracies and misconceptions.

This latest research from the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education is expected to have a major impact on the future of Holocaust education both nationally and internationally.  Already the key findings inform the Centre’s professional development pathway and materials for teachers and we continue to review and develop all aspects of our work with teachers to ensure it is informed by the findings of our research and reflect the experiences of young people engaging with the Holocaust in the classroom today.

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