Independent Educator: Research-driven Education and Training

Teaching on the HET Lessons from Auschwitz programme, November 2016. Photo: Yakir Zur, 2016.

“You were the best lecturer I had at university: enthusiastic which led to inspiring, and very approachable.” – a former student.

“Students came expecting to be challenged […] superb resources…” – Teaching observation (2017)

“Thank you for coming and running such thoughtful sessions!” – Jewish youth movement (2017)

I’ve been teaching about the Holocaust and related areas for the last fifteen years, in classrooms and seminar rooms from Year 9 to postgraduate. With a PhD in Holocaust Studies and a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education, I’m passionate about ensuring that the best standards of teaching and learning are brought to this subject. This is what I mean by “Research-driven”:

  • Firstly, that activities and sessions are informed by the best and most up-to-date subject knowledge.
  • Secondly, that activities and sessions are informed by the latest research in Teaching and Learning.
  • Thirdly, that wherever possible activities and sessions are based on the real needs of the target audience, as indicated by individuals and research into knowledge and attitudes.

For example, the results of the comprehensive survey of student knowledge and attitudes by the UCL Institute for Holocaust Education in 2015 underline why: it found problems in knowledge and understanding that mirror the gaps in teachers’ knowledge identified in their 2009 research into teaching. This is despite excellent work by many organisations and individuals, ensuring that the Holocaust is taught well and considered rigorously and sensitively from historical, moral and social, as well as religious perspectives. After more than twenty years of compulsory Holocaust Education as part of the KS3 National Curriculum, many misconceptions persist among both teachers and their students. This is a huge challenge for educators to ensure the historical and moral legacy of the Holocaust: like all challenges in education, it will be an ongoing one.

But we face a particular moment in which these lessons have new urgency. In an era that is facing challenges of social cohesion and integration and the rise of a new populism fuelled by anger at social decay but using ‘the other’ as a pretext, Holocaust Education informed by rigorous and thorough research is more important than ever. In an era of “fake news” and the blurring of reality introduced by new technology, insisting on the historical record is the only way to ensure the victims the basic decency of being honoured in memory.

Work from a session on Jewish Resistance in the Holocaust, Summer 2017.

I work as a Freelance Outreach Provider for the Holocaust Educational Trust and periodically on their Lessons from Auschwitz programme. I am also, however, available to work independently and design bespoke sessions for your youth group, faith group, or workplace. I am a qualified post-16 teacher of History and Politics (IOE, 2015: DBS Update Service) and familiar with how the Holocaust relates to German history more broadly and how both form part of the curriculum. I work as a Private Tutor via Tutor Pages.

I am also, however, interested in broader themes and issues. In particular I think the question of forgiveness and reconciliation is one which can only become more relevant.

Workshops and Sessions

Surviving through Action: Responses to the Holocaust is a suite of three linked (but discrete) sessions for 16+ dealing with the following issues: Strategies of Jewish Resistance in the Holocaust; Forgiveness and the Holocaust; Living and Acting after the Holocaust.

The Rise of Nazism, the Third Reich and the Holocaust, 1914-49 is a series of sessions modelled on OCR and AQA A-level schemes of work on German history and the Holocaust. I am also happy to develop sessions to suit your particular needs.

Auschwitz: Five Questions: a series of sessions which tries to understand both the history and cultural representation of Auschwitz. Suitable for 18+ due to some content.

In preparation for Holocaust Memorial Day, 2018: The Power of Words: Truth and Lies, Curses and Blessings

Three sessions designed to explore the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2018. (14+)

If you’d like to work with me on an educational project, including as a Private Tutor, please get in touch using the comments box below.

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