HET Train Teachers In Groundbreaking Holocaust Education Resource
Submitted to: Education 
Posted: February 05 2007

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5 January 2007 (Jewswire.com) - Over 60 teachers from across the UK attended a training session on Wednesday for the Holocaust Educational Trust’s groundbreaking interactive DVD-ROM - Recollections: Eyewitnesses Remember the Holocaust.

The free-of-charge one-day course, run by the Trust, was designed to train teachers in the use of Recollections and visual history testimony in the classroom. Particular focus was placed on the significance of survivor testimony in light of the fact that Holocaust survivors are becoming increasingly frail and less available to talk about their experiences.

Jointly produced with the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education at the University of Southern California, and four years in development, Recollections is the first schools-specific resource in the UK to enable students to learn about the Holocaust by engaging with survivor testimony through interactive technology. From February 2007, the resource will be available to every school in the UK free of charge on request or through attendance at Holocaust education teacher training courses.

After HET’s training course, Gareth Jones, History Teacher from Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun, Wales, commented: "Today's training is yet another step forward to bringing Holocaust education...to many more people. The Trust plays a vital role in this and has most definitely helped with my personal and professional development."

Ben Miskel from Darton High School in Barnsley, commented: "HET provides a very valuable resource which will fill an important gap in everyone's knowledge about this fundamental part of our shared history."

Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, commented: “For almost a decade, HET has facilitated the visit of survivors to schools but as survivors grow frailer, it will become increasingly difficult to meet the demand from schools for survivors to speak directly to students. Visual history testimony will increasingly become one of our greatest tools in educating about past events and HET’s training courses for Recollections will ensure that even more young people get the opportunity to hear and see first-hand survivor testimony.

“The interactive activities that Recollections offers, will not only provide a vital resource for teaching of the history of the Holocaust in schools but it will also demonstrate the relevance of the Holocaust today and the importance of tackling bullying, racism and all forms of prejudice."

End/

Notes for Editors

Recollections

The Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), together with the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, at the University of Southern California, produced the groundbreaking interactive DVD-ROM - Recollections: Eyewitnesses Remember the Holocaust. Four years in development, Recollections is the first schools-specific resource in the UK produced by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. The product integrates testimony from survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust contained within the Institute’s Visual History Archive.

Eighteen visual history testimonies are incorporated in the resource including interviews from Jewish survivors, Roma and Sinti survivors, Jehovah’s Witness survivors, and survivors of the Nazi eugenics programme. Accompanying the testimonies are interactive student activities and training materials for teachers which promote knowledge and understanding about the Holocaust and its lessons as well as examine the nature of humanity and the individual’s role within society.

Holocaust Educational Trust

The Holocaust Educational Trust was established in 1988. Their aim is to educate young people from every ethnic background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today. HET works in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust, providing teacher training, an outreach programme for schools, teaching aids and resource material. HET regard one of their earliest achievements as ensuring the Holocaust formed part of the National Curriculum for History. HET continues to play a leading role in training teachers on how best to teach the Holocaust.

HET runs the flagship Lessons from Auschwitz courses for teachers and post-16 students incorporating a visit to the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the last seven years, HET has taken over 4000 students and teachers including participants from Pimlico School who will host the launch of Recollections. In November 2005, Rt. Hon Gordon Brown MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a Treasury grant of £1.5 million to support the HET’s Lessons from Auschwitz Course. This funding will enable HET to facilitate visits to Auschwitz for 2 students from every school in the UK, increasing the number of students participating in the programme from 400 a year to over 6000 a year.

USC Shoah Foundation Institute

With a collection of nearly 52,000 video testimonies in 32 languages and from 56 countries, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s archive is the largest visual history archive in the world. The Institute interviewed Jewish survivors, homosexual survivors, Jehovah’s Witness survivors, liberators and liberation witnesses, political prisoners, rescuers and aid providers, Roma and Sinti survivors (Gypsy), survivors of Eugenics policies, and war crimes trials participants.

The mission of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute is to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry–and the suffering they cause–through the educational use of the Institute's visual history testimonies. The Institute relies upon partnerships in the United States and around the world to provide public access to the archive and advance scholarship in many fields of inquiry. The Institute and its partners also utilize the archive to develop educational products and programs for use in many countries and languages.

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