'We saw inhumanity close up'. What is gained by school students from Scotland visiting Auschwitz?

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Abstract:

As the education for citizenship agenda continues to impact on schools in the UK and with the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) in conjunction with the Scottish Government introducing its Lessons From Auschwitz (LFA) project for students and teachers in Scotland, this article focuses on the Scottish context and investigates the school processes by which students are chosen to participate in the LFA project, the impact the LFA project has on student personal growth, and the range of follow-up activities in their schools and communities. The methodology employed online questionnaires and face-to-face interviews which were designed to ascertain student perceptions of the LFA project and the impact that this project had on student participants, their schools, and their communities. Findings demonstrate that the student cohort were highly academic students who took their responsibilities on return to their schools very seriously and organized a wide range of events, both in their schools and in their communities. There was clear evidence that the LFA project had led to extra teaching and awareness of the Holocaust, racism, and human rights; and that students' citizenship values had been enhanced.

Keywords: Auschwitz; Holocaust; citizenship; education; memorials

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2010.542831

Affiliations: 1: University of the West of Scotland, School of Education, Beech Grove, Ayr, UK 2: Learning and Teaching Review Group on Education for Citizenship, Scotland

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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