Teaching Through Testimony
Resources for Effective Use of Testimony in your Classroom
Most Holocaust education institutions advise educators to use testimony from Holocaust survivors in their classroom. However, the task is not as simple as just finding and playing an interview from a survivor. We must be responsible and intentional when using testimony in our lesson plans.
Below is a list of pedagogical resources that you may find helpful as a starting point for using witness testimony in your classroom. Please contact Katie Cunningham, Holocaust Curriculum and Outreach Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any needs or questions.
Resources from Renowned Institutions
Pedagogical Points to Consider:
- The USHMM Guidelines for Teaching About the Holocaust state: “Strive to Balance the Perspectives that Inform Your Study of the Holocaust… Most documentation about the Holocaust comes from the perspective of the perpetrators. In contrast, survivor testimonies and collections humanize individuals in the richness and fullness of their lives.”
- The Echoes and Reflections Pedagogical Principles for Effective Holocaust Instruction state: “Teach the Human Story. While connecting people and events to the larger story, educators should translate statistics into personal stories; use survivor and witness testimony whenever possible; emphasizing, however, that survivor voices are the exception.”
Where to Begin
- USHMM Training Video for Educators: Teaching with Survivor Testimony
- Yad Vashem Using Holocaust Testimony in the Classroom
- iWitness Educator Resources: Tips and Tutorials
For a Deeper Dive
- USHMM Lesson: Teaching with Holocaust Survivor Testimony
- Facing History and Ourselves Lesson: Teaching with Video Testimony
- Facing History and Ourselves Those Who Were There: Using Podcasts and Survivor Testimony in Your Classroom
Greenspon Center Certification in Holocaust Pedagogy
The Greenspon Center offers a yearly certification program in Holocaust pedagogy. Visit our Certification in Holocaust Pedagogy page to learn more about the program and how to apply.
Images sourced from unsplash.com by Dariusz Sankowski