Conducted in 2019-20, with analysis ongoing, Continuity and Change: Ten Years of Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust in England’s Secondary Schools, sought to explore the development of Holocaust education since the Centre’s landmark study in 2009 Teaching about the Holocaust in English Secondary Schools: An empirical study of national trends, perspectives and practice. Looking at teachers’ aims, definitions, content, pedagogy, assessment, knowledge, understanding, curriculum planning, challenges encountered and training experiences, it compared the landscape of Holocaust education in 2009 with the situation a decade later.

Like its counterpart in 2009, Continuity and Change took a mixed methods approach employing a comprehensive national survey and interviews. The study was advertised widely, including direct engagement with the Centre’s network of teachers, adverts in professional magazines and journals, and direct email contact with around 4,000 secondary schools in England.

The survey was predominately comprised of multiple-choice questions, but with a sizeable proportion of open-ended questions to give teachers the opportunity to expand on their answers. The survey was first open for completion from the end of 2018 until August 2019. A second wave of survey data collection took place between July and September 2020. The survey was targeted at teachers in England, from any subject discipline, who had experience of teaching about the Holocaust. In total, 1,077 teachers from across the country completed the survey with 964 of them reporting they had taught about the Holocaust during the previous three years. The interviews were conducted with a subsample of survey respondents to discuss their teaching practice in greater depth. In total, 134 teachers from 45 schools across England took part in either small group or individual interviews.

The survey sample was broadly representative of the school workforce for 2019/20 in terms of gender and ethnicity. A third of teachers had not completed any CPD courses provided by specialist Holocaust education organisations in England, with the remaining two-thirds attending courses with at least one specialist organisation. Around two thirds of teachers principally taught about the Holocaust in history, 15% principally taught about it in religious studies and the remaining teachers principally covered the Holocaust across a range of disciplines including citizenship, PSHE and English. For the interviews, by drawing on teachers’ survey responses, those with a range of CPD backgrounds, from different subjects and with varying levels of teaching experience were invited to participate. Collectively this extensive dataset means that in addition to comparing Holocaust education in 2009 with the situation in 2019/20, we can explore how CPD is associated with teachers’ practice and look at how different subjects approach, frame and deliver Holocaust education.

Analysis of both the survey and interview data is ongoing, with a series of reports to be released over the next 12 months.  For more information about the study, including details about the methodology employed please contact Principal Research Fellow Dr Alice Pettigrew who is the Head of the Centre’s Research Programme: a.pettigrew@ucl.ac.uk, or her colleague Senior Research Fellow, Dr Rebecca Hale: r.hale@ucl.ac.uk

 

All information on this webpage was correct at time of writing (June 2021) but some amendments might occur in the future as analysis progresses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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