This conference seeks to establish the potentials of Holocaust education in relation to primary school children. Whilst our knowledge of the practice of Holocaust education has made impressive strides, most studies are based on teaching children from ages 11 onwards (for example, secondary school children in the UK). Learning at primary age in general and the engagement with the Holocaust in particular, remain comparatively unexplored. Whilst there is a rapidly growing number of Holocaust exhibitions and memorial sites worldwide, provisions for primary school children are far and between.
This is a crucial time of increased interest and demand in regards to Holocaust education. The establishment of the National Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January has led to greater numbers of primary teachers in and outside Europe opting to include the Holocaust in their teaching programmes. Some countries, like the UK, see the Holocaust as an integral part to teaching the values of British society and aim to invigorate Holocaust education (Prime Minister David Cameron, January 2015). In other countries the Holocaust is a mandatory topic in primary schools, for example in France and in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the difficulties encountered when trying to impart specific values to children aged 11 and older – values relating to citizenship and human rights – suggests the need to begin Holocaust education at primary school level.
We invite papers that engage with these broad issues raised by Holocaust Education for Primary School Children, in particular:
1. What is good pedagogical practice of Holocaust education in the primary teaching context?
2. Can Holocaust education in primary schools help to embed citizenship and human rights’ values, and, if so, how can this be done effectively in today’s multi-ethnic societies?
3. What potential problems are raised by the transition to secondary school, and how must Holocaust education change at secondary level to build on what has been taught at primary level?
4. How can museums or exhibitions assist primary students and teachers of primary students to develop their understanding of the Holocaust?
5. How can Information Technology (IT) be used effectively in primary teaching and/ or museum education contexts?
We would like to discuss these and other issues with experts and practitioners from a range of disciplines, including pedagogy, history, sociology, psychiatry and psychology, working both within and outside Europe. We are particularly interested in comparative perspectives.
The conference will take place between the 7-8 July 2016 at the University of Loughborough / UK, and will include an excursion to the National Holocaust Centre and Museum. The conference will be conducted in English. Travel and accommodation costs for most speakers will be covered by the organisers (budget travel). As we intend to publish the proceedings we are particularly interested in original contributions. Finally, we want to use this opportunity to establish an international network of experts and practitioners. So, even if you are not in a position to participate in this particular event but have an interest in this topic, we would like to hear from you!
Suggestions for topics should be sent in the form of an exposé (1-2 pages) accompanied by a brief CV to: Chris Szejnmann (firstname.lastname@example.org), Department of Politics, History and International Relations, Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK, LE11 3TU, UK, by 15th of February 2016.
The conference organisers:
Paula Cowan, University of the West Scotland
James Griffiths, National Holocaust Centre and Museum
Chris Szejnmann, Loughborough University