Summer Institute for Holocaust Education: Echoes and Reflections, with MSM Student Skylar Edwards

Presenter Jill Rembrandt on Echoes and Reflections: Teaching the Holocaust, Inspiring the Classroom

 

“I firmly believe that education is the best way to prevent the next Holocaust.” – Yossie Hollander, Founder of Echoes and Reflections.

This summer, a diverse group of Oklahoma teachers joined the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art for its annual Summer Institute for Holocaust Education. The two day professional development conference helped local teachers gain access to lessons and content that support students’ study of the Holocaust and its meaning in the world today. As a summer intern, I assisted in the research, development, and facilitation of this program for the teachers.

Studying the Holocaust isn’t fun. There is no lighter side, but it is important to give teachers the information and the tools to talk about it in their classes. The Summer Institute provides resources for teachers new to teaching the Holocaust. For example, Echoes and Reflections is a new online database for teachers that can easily be utilized in any classroom environment.

Echoes and Reflections gives teachers free tools presenting the Holocaust in its historical and cultural context. These tools include visual history testimonies, lesson plans, and interactive programs that can easily be molded to specific classroom needs and curriculum frameworks. Online lesson plans combine visual testimonies with literary tools, such as Elie Wiesel’s Night, A Diary of Anne Frank, and select poems from a concentration camp survivor.

By viewing first person accounts of the Holocaust, today’s students can make connections between modern history and contemporary genocide. These connections help students build the capacity to think independently and understand the possible consequences of daily choices. By following these lesson plans, students will leave the classroom empowered to make good choices.

As a Master’s student in Museum Science and Management with the University of Tulsa, I am thankful to have been part of something so powerful for the Tulsa community. Learning how to present difficult and sensitive subjects is a challenge for museums. Thanks to this internship, I am better prepared for the future.

Lesson plans, along with a free research database, are available online at https://echoesandreflections.org/teach/

 

Museum Science and Management Student Skylar Edwards