Last week I gave a seminar for the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. There were about 50 teachers in attendence – most of whom do genocide education in Chicago’s schools. Illinois is one of just four states in the U.S. that is mandated to do genocide education – but – that mandate comes unfunded.
Talking to these teachers it was clear that while it sounds great for genocide education to be mandated, it is only useful if teachers are taught how to teach it. The one thing worse than no education on this issue is a poorly informed education on it. The teachers attending the workshop were coming of their own accord - a highly motivated bunch.
In this seven-minute podcast “Chicago teachers on genocide education” you can hear about some of the challenges five teachers in Chicago face. Thanks to Sarah, Holly, Brent, Holly, Denise and Ashley for spending their lunch-break talking to me!
For those who are interested in mandated education, you may want to check out Teach Against Genocide which works to pass and implement funded legislation to mandate genocide education. And of course, the best resource I know for a thoughtful and effective approach to tackling these issues in a classroom setting is one of my favourite organizations, Facing History and Ourselves.