Teachers' Guide

Teachers' Guide

Welcome to Eternal Echoes! Below you will find our general guidelines for the learning tool.
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As a registered teacher you will – in addition to all material you find on this open website – have access to classroom tips, in-depth articles and to each exercise you will find references to the learning outcomes. With your own account your students will also be able to send you their summaries and notes.

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Introduction

Eternal Echoes is an interactive learning resource covering the Holocaust. The tool has been developed for middle and high school ages but is equally suited to adult education. Knowledge of the Holocaust and Second World War is developed through filmed testimonies, articles providing historical context, discussion exercises, authentic documents and photographs. Students are also encouraged to talk about and discuss topical events and issues.

 

Through Eternal Echoes, teachers are given a comprehensive tool that can help students to reflect on the consequences of antisemitism, racism, xenophobia and anti-democratic ideas. By equipping students with knowledge of the Holocaust, Eternal Echoes fosters democratic values.

Learning outcomes

Overall goals of the educational tool include raising awareness about the uniqueness and universality of the Holocaust and ensuring that knowledge about the Holocaust will not fade with time. By doing the general exercises and those connected to the testimonies, students develop a deeper understanding of stages and mechanisms that led to the Holocaust, and the Roma genocide. Students are exposed to the variety of Holocaust survivor experiences, and experiences of other groups persecuted by the Nazis.

The exercises of the educational tool are designed to raise students’ awareness concerning:
  • the necessity to protect and uphold democratic values and human rights
  • how subtle changes in a society and choices of individuals, organisations and governments can lead to horrible consequences
  • prejudices close to the students’ surrounding, and the propaganda spread on the Internet by extremist and antidemocratic movements
  • the dangers of silence and indifference to the suffering of others
  • the importance of taking action against discriminatory and racist attitudes, antisemitism, antiziganism and racism in our daily lives
  • contemporary issues and human rights, among other things how we view newcomers in our society
By completing the exercises, the following learning outcomes can be reached:
  • students learn about antisemitism and racism then and now
  • students’ ability to think critically and multiperspectively develops
  • student’s empathic skills develop
  • students’ ability to make decisions and act upon them improves
  • students reflect on the relevance of historical events in our lives
  • students understand the consequences of stereotypes and prejudices
  • students understand the nature of propaganda throughout time and place

Interdisciplinary/cross-curricular teaching

Teaching about the events of the Holocaust requires a profound understanding of history, therefore, this should be the foundation for any study of the subject. However, approaching the Holocaust from multiple disciplinary perspectives might help deal with the diverse aspects of human behaviour.  The narratives of the Holocaust raise important moral and ethical questions that can be discussed over the course of diverse school subjects and lessons. Teachers of the following subjects might, hence, be interested in working with Eternal Echoes:

square.jpg arts    square.jpg civics education     square.jpg history     square.jpg human rights education     square.jpg languages     square.jpg literature     square.jpg religious studies     square.jpg sociology etc.

Guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) based on international current best practice has collected a set of guidelines that help teachers approach this very difficult subject and to present possible ways forward. The activities of Eternal Echoes are all designed to correspond to the guidelines.

Below is a summary of the guidelines. For more information, visit the official website of IHRA.

Summary of IHRA Guidelines
  • The Holocaust can be successfully taught to students; do not be afraid to approach this subject
  • Define the term Holocaust
  • Create a positive learning environment, with an active pedagogy and a student-centred approach
  • Individualise the history by translating statistics into personal stories
  • Use witness testimony to make this history more "real" to your students
  • A cross-curricular approach will enrich your students' understanding of the Holocaust
  • Contextualise the history
  • Give broad and balanced coverage to this subject
  • Be precise in your use of language and urge your students to do the same
  • Distinguish between the history of the Holocaust and the lessons that might be learned from that history
  • Avoid simple answers to a complex history
  • Provide your students with access to primary sources
  • Students should be alerted to the fact that the perpetrators produced much of the evidence of the Holocaust
  • Encourage your students to critically analyse different interpretations of the Holocaust
  • Be responsive to the appropriateness of written and visual content and do not use horrific imagery to engage your students in a study of the Holocaust
  • Avoid comparing the pain of any one group with that of another
  • Allow your students to explore a variety of responses of the victims, including the many forms of resistance to the Nazis
  • Take care not to define the Jewish people solely in terms of the Holocaust
  • Indicate that the Holocaust was not inevitable
  • Do not attempt to explain away the perpetrators as "inhuman monsters"
  • Be careful to distinguish between the perpetrators of the past and present-day societies in Europe and elsewhere
  • Encourage your students to study local, regional, national and global history and memory
  • Ask your students to participate in and reflect upon national and local traditions of commemoration and remembrance
  • Select appropriate learning activities and avoid using simulations that encourage students to identify with perpetrators or victims
  • Avoid legitimising the denial of the past
  • Be aware of the potential and also the limitations of all instructional materials, including the Internet
  • Distinguish between historical and contemporary events and avoid ahistorical comparisons
  • Be responsive to the concerns of your students
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.