Echoes & Reflections
Leaders in Holocaust Education
What is Echoes & Reflections?
Echoes & Reflections, a partnership program of ADL, USC Shoah Foundation, and Yad Vashem, is the premier source for Holocaust education professional development and dynamic content that empowers teachers and students to question the past and impact the future. To support Michigan educators fulfill the recent Holocaust and genocide mandate, in 2018 the Museum began a partnership with Echoes & Reflections to deliver training programs across the state to amplify teachers’ skills and resources to teach about the Holocaust in a comprehensive and meaningful way. To date, this partnership has reached over 900 teachers from 417 schools and is on track to reach more than 1000 teachers in 3 years.
Why teach about the Holocaust?
The Holocaust is more than a historical event, it’s part of the larger human story. Echoes & Reflections engages students to reflect and think critically about how the Holocaust influences the social issues unfolding in the world today.
Through this program, educators will:
- Explore a sound pedagogy for the planning and implementation of Holocaust education in the classroom to fulfill Michigan’s Holocaust and genocide education mandate;
- Examine instructional enhancements to support student learning and understanding;
- Discover and utilize classroom-ready digital assets including lesson plans, visual history testimonies, and additional primary source materials;
- Enhance personal knowledge about the Holocaust, including the history of antisemitism; and
- Build confidence and capacity to teach this complex subject.
“Teaching about the Holocaust is so important for our school. Echoes & Reflections provides the tools I need to help foster a sense of empathy with my students.”— Teacher from 2018 training in Bay City, Michigan
For More Information…
To schedule an Echoes & Reflections training, please contact Rick Schaffner, Manager of Education Outreach at 248.556.3663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This workshop focuses on the effective pedagogical principles for Holocaust instruction and examines how teachers can use Echoes and Reflections and the USC Shoah Foundation’s iWitness survivor video testimonies to teach the Holocaust, connect learning to contemporary events, encourage inquiry-based learning, and foster empathy.
Read the news and it is clear: Antisemitism is not a relic of the past, but a hatred the world struggles with today. It is important that educators have the resources and tools to feel prepared to talk about contemporary manifestations of antisemitism and hate with students. This learning opportunity explores classroom materials to support effective teaching of contemporary antisemitism, its global reach, and its expression in the form of hate speech, violence, denial, and distortion of the Holocaust. Educators will also explore ways to support students’ commitment and ability to actively respond to and prevent antisemitism and other forms of prejudice in their communities.
When surrounded by historical truths and clear contexts, literature can be a powerful tool for teaching the Holocaust. This wrapping of history around literature allows teachers to put ELA pedagogy into practice while maintaining fidelity to the historical setting within which the literature resides. Circles of Consideration will focus on exploring the historical context of the Holocaust combined with a sensitive approach to ELA delivery. Through the examination of four core considerations when teaching literature – reflection, cultural environment, specificity and emotional capacity – teachers create powerful connections with their students, allowing for richer, more thoughtful discussions and meaningful work on this difficult subject.
How do we prepare students to read and understand Elie Wiesel’s, Night, within the larger historical framework of the Holocaust? This learning opportunity explores materials and instructional strategies available in Echoes & Reflections to support effective teaching of the memoir, as well as provides background to integrate into instruction. The workshop will explore the history of antisemitism and Jewish life in Eastern Europe to provide context for the memoir and will discuss and identify themes, life lessons and the current relevance of Night.
Anne Frank’s Diary is one of the most read primary sources in schools and can be challenging to teach. The objectives of the workshop are to: (1) Understand the historical context within which Anne Frank and her family were living; (2) Develop a rationale for teaching Anne Frank; (3) Use resources and strategies to meet the unique challenges that arise when teaching Anne Frank and that can be used to effectively and responsibly teach about the Holocaust; (4) Think critically about complex issues and ideas; and (5) Understand the importance of choice and responsibility, and learn about different ways of taking meaningful and informed action.
As the world struggles with the largest refugee crisis since WWII, Echoes & Reflections content can help examine the barriers to immigration, including political and bureaucratic obstacles and, in some cases, the unwillingness to accept Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. This timely offering supports educators to help students make meaningful connections to similar issues affecting people and nations today.
An examination of the range of choices and decisions made by individuals, communities and nations during the Holocaust is a powerful lens through which to study this period of history. This approach encourages deep critical thinking and analysis, and also serves as a catalyst to compel students to work toward making change in their own lives and the larger society. This learning opportunity examines the consequences of inaction and highlights the courage and difficult choices of those who rescued and resisted during the Holocaust. Educators will gain the tools to support students to implement an action-oriented project influenced by the lessons of this history.
Media literacy skills have become essential for young people to successfully navigate and critically assess the ever-increasing amount of information they receive throughout their day – on social media, advertisements, television, and film. Therefore, it is crucial for students to comprehend and identify how media, both historically and in contemporary society, can be used as a tool to incite hate and violence against certain groups. This learning opportunity examines the events of the Holocaust through the lens of media, by examining propaganda deployed by the Nazis to discriminate against Jews and other minorities. Educators will gain the tools to facilitate classroom discussions on the role and impact of Nazi propaganda during the Holocaust and support their students to critically analyze media in today’s world.
The Holocaust Center believes in the power to educate, engage and empower our learners. Thoughtfully approaching traumatic literature and content is a key consideration, and more timely than ever, across disciplines and grade levels. Ohio University (2021) recently noted that teaching strategies that take into account the role of trauma have the potential to foster connection, increase emotional balance, and improve resilience. We strongly agree. With this in mind, we have created an important workshop on SPEC: Safely Prepare, Explore and Conclude – a teaching practice focusing on five core values of trauma-informed practice in educational delivery. This pedagogy allows educators to sensitively deliver Holocaust content that honors both students and history, while acknowledging diversity and best practice. It can be used at both the middle and high school levels, as well as any level of university study.
How does genocide happen? Can we see it coming? What happens to ordinary individuals and communities that leads them to commit genocide? Can we stop it in its tracks? By exploring the Holocaust, we will examine how societies come to commit genocide. Dr. Gregory Stanton’s model, “The 10 Stages of Genocide,” breaks down this process, and the Pyramid of Hate is a classroom-appropriate explanation of this process. Core to this study is an examination of dehumanization, by which people see the “Other” not as fellow members of their community, but as less-than-human threats that need to be eradicated. As we know, this is not only a historical issue but a contemporary one as well.
For More Information…
For more information on our Educator Programs, please contact Rick Schaffner, Manager of Education Outreach at 248.556.3663 or email@example.com.