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Hello from the other side: museum educators’ perspectives on teaching the Holocaust

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Museums often cite supporting teachers and schools as a goal, and museum educators frequently create resources or provide professional development for this audience, though the two entities have little contact. This qualitative study sought to examine the perspectives of museum educators at a regional Holocaust museum as they planned and presented two-week-long professional development workshops for educators. Pre-workshop and post-workshop interviews were conducted with three museum educators responsible for the workshops, which were also observed in their entirety. Findings indicate that all three museum educators believed the Holocaust to be difficult knowledge. However, each approached the topic in a different manner based on their personal experience and understanding of Holocaust education, resulting in three vastly different presentation styles. These varied presentations resulted in an uneven focus on content, with few concrete classroom connections. The article concludes by discussing implications for museum-initiated professional development and avenues for further research.
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Keywords: Holocaust education workshop; Museum education; adult learners; museum-initiated professional development; professional development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: College of Education, Texas A&M International University-Laredo, TX, USA

Publication date: October 20, 2018

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