In 2014, the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development (HIERD), as a background institution of the Ministry of Human Resources, organizes a multi-pillar series of programmes on the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust.
The USC Shoah Foundation and the Hungarian Holocaust Memorial Center shall contribute to the series. Events will be based on the involvement of students and teachers alike. Our goal is to organize trainings for teachers related to Holocaust education and a study visit, and to collect education materials and best practices, as well as publishing a methodological manual.
During the first half of the year, in cooperation with the University of South California Shoah Foundation and the Zachor Foundation for Social Remembrance, the HIERD organizes one-day long teacher trainings for some 120 teachers, in Budapest, and lager cities in Hungary (Szeged, Pécs, Sopron, Székesfehérvár, Pápa, Szombathely, Hódmezővásárhely, Hajdúböszörmény) and also beyond our borders (Szabadka). The trainings will be financed by the Institute. Participants will learn about the possible use – in the classroom and outside the school – of multimedia education materials created from the video interviews of the Visual History Archive of the Shoah Foundation, as well as pedagogical methods of teaching with video interviews. After the trainings, the HIERD will conduct a survey on the usefulness and effectiveness of the trainings.
Our trainings, realized through local and regional centers, are targeted primarily at teachers working with upper primary school (age 10-14) and high school (age 14-18) students, however, those working in higher education, dormitories, talent support programmes and youth services can also participate. The trainings’ goals are to familiarize teachers with the use of such materials of anti-prejudice education that are capable of sparking interest in students, and of promoting critical thinking and active participation. Besides getting to know the videos of the Visual History Archive of the Shoah Foundation, teachers will explore the relation between social remembrance and history, and local and regional historic context. By using these materials, teachers will be have strong convictions against hatred and racism, and will be able to promote responsible citizenship of their students. By enhancing their students’ critical thinking skills, teachers can help them realize the nature and role of stereotypes.
The HIERD and the Holocaust Memorial Center will also contribute to the anniversary year by issuing a book connected to school commemoration days, for teachers. The HMC will put together the professional material of the manual, whereas the Institute will be responsible for all tasks related to publishing. The book will give a collection of the numerous material packages collected or created by the Memorial Center. It will contain guidelines on how, why and what to teach about the Holocaust, and assist teachers in putting together materials that best fits the need of the age group of their students. Our plan is to transmit the manual to 2000 teachers for free, so that they can make use of its contents through their work of educating and training children.
As part of one of the European Union’s priority projects run by the HIERD, we will shortly launch the single sign-on National Public Education Portal, which aims at becoming the collection point of all sorts of methodological and educational online materials that can assist teachers in their educational-training profession. Thus, the Institute will grant a space on the new portal for the multimedia Holocaust education materials developed by the Memorial Center.
The HIERD has set the aim of assisting Holocaust education by tenders. An invitation to tender for teachers has been announced, with the goal of collecting teachers’ notes, good practices and methods that were proven to be effective in their teaching practice about the Holocaust, and to make these available on the HIERD website. Professional assistance was given by the Memorial Center during the examination of tenders; decisions were made based on their proposal. The winners received a financial grant.
Moreover, another invitation for tenders was announced, to recruit students groups to investigate the Jewish history of their local community. The winners participated in a study visit to Cracow, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and nearby Holocaust memorials, between the 10th and 13th of April 2014. Seventy youngsters, together with their teachers had the opportunity to join the educational experts, curriculum innovators and researchers of the HIERD on the study visit, which allows for the use of their empirical experiences from the visit in their professional activities.