"Effective Strategies for Holocaust Education" (Course at BCIU)

This page was established for participants in the "Effective Strategies for Holocaust Education" course at the Berks County Intermediate Unit (www.berksiu.org).  The course dates were June 21-24 & 28-30, 2009. 
This professional development course was designed to enhance the content knowledge and strategies for teaching the Holocaust in Social Studies and English/Language Arts at the High School and Middle School levels.  Major content areas discussed include: rationale for teaching the Holocaust, the rise of anti-Semitism, the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazi Party, the implementation of anti-Jewish measures, other groups targeted, the ghettos, the camps, rescue and resistance, liberation, and present-day issues relating to the Holocaust and other genocides.  Participants also learned a variety of teaching strategies to implement this content in their classrooms and are expected to apply these strategies in lessons planned for the students they teach.

This course was taught using a variety of strategies to deliver content knowledge to the participants.  Strategies included lecture, film clips, reading assignments and class discussion.  The instructor also modeled many different strategies that participants can utilize in their own classrooms.  Participants worked as individuals and in a variety of small groups to accomplish course objectives.


Holocaust education is a repeated theme throughout the Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards in both English/Language Arts and Social Studies.  The Pennsylvania Holocaust Education Council, a statewide organization supported by the governor’s office, has conducted various surveys with Pennsylvania teachers that indicate a need for further development of content knowledge and teaching strategies. Additionally, this course featured exposure to technology, differentiated instruction, and cooperative learning which are listed as priority areas of instruction from the data compiled from Berks County school district’s professional development plans.