New survey examines how schools worldwide teach the Holocaust
How do schools worldwide handle the Holocaust as a subject? In what areas of the world does the Holocaust form part of classroom teaching? Answers to these questions are to be provided by a project conducted by UNESCO and the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research. The project, entitled ‘International Status of Education on the Holocaust, A Global Mapping of Textbooks and Curricula’, will for the first time make it possible to compare representations of the Holocaust in school textbooks and national curricula.
The study will begin with an assessment of curricula from 195 countries, showing where and to what extent the Holocaust is established in the official school syllabus. The result will take the form of a global mapping, illustrating where the Holocaust is actually being taught.
Are representations of the Holocaust nuanced, comprehensive and unbiased? In what contexts do they appear? And are there national and regional differences between them? In order to explore these questions, school textbooks from 20 representative countries will be examined qualitatively in close detail and compared with one another.
The results of this unprecedented global survey and the recommendations that emerge from it, will provide educational policy makers with a basis on which future decisions concerning curricula can be made. This is of particular concern to countries in which the Holocaust has not previously featured in the curriculum.
The 18-month project is international in scope. Thanks to the cooperation of numerous research centres and experts, as well as the support of ministries of education throughout the world, it will draw on data from countries in which no or little information about representations of the Holocaust has previously been made available.
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George Eckert Institut for International Textbook Research