Holocaust Education, Global Citizenship & Intercultural Competence

Over the past two decades, Holocaust awareness has become a new form of collective remembrance, which researchers refer to as global commemoration. Holocaust Education is considered to be nowadays a meaningful educational instrument to deal with attitude towards the refugees in Europe, anti- racist education, xenophobia and global citizenship. While the events have faded with time, remembrance of the Holocaust has intensified, with multifaceted expressions in literature, art, and in education across the world. Faced with the genocides that have occurred since across the globe, from Cambodia to Bosnia and Rawanda, the Holocaust has become a paradigm for genocide and a powerful metaphor for atrocity, so that Holocaust education has gained relevance and become an integral part of human rights and antiracist education. Additionally, research into Holocaust teaching has become an integral part of researching the impact of global issues on education systems.
Holocaust Education enables exploration of the ontologies and epistemologies of human rights literacy(ies) in different social contexts from cognitive, social and practical perspectives. It acknowledges the need to develop intercultural competence and a new cosmopolitan consciousness transcending national boundaries: a memory that is not only connected to the past but also to the belief in a common future. The cosmopolitanization of Holocaust awareness and the need to avoid such a tragedy occurring again is connected to post-national processes. Thus, educating about the dangers of racism and extreme nationalism can become an icon of the new cosmopolitan future. This lecture will describe and analyze these phenomena and will suggest some practical ways how to deal with it in the classroom, and assess their contribution to global citizenship education by reinforcing Holocaust remembrance and imbuing it with universal educational value.

Professor Zehavit Gross is head of the graduate program of Management and Development in Informal Education Systems in the School of Education, and is the UNESCO/Burg Chair in Education for Human Values, Tolerance and Peace, Bar Ilan University. She is also the head of the Sal Van GelderCenter for Holocaust Research and Instruction, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. She is the president of the Israeli Society for Comparative Education (ICES) and is Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Hebrew, Biblical & Jewish Studies, University of Sydney. Her main area of specialisation is socialisation processes (religious, secular, feminine and civic) among adolescents. Her latest publication, with Doyle Stevick, is As The Witnesses Fall Silent: 21 Century Holocaust Education in Curriculum, Policy and Practice (Springer, 2015). She is the president of the Israeli Society for Comparative Education (ICES). She is the recipient of the 2016Ursula Thrush Peace Seed Award of the American Montessori Society (AMS) and a research grant for the years 2016-2018 from the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is also the recipient of the 2017Distinguished Scholar Award from the Religion & Education SIG at the American Education Research Association (AERA). She has won recently a prestigious award (2017) from the Israeli Science Foundation (ISF) to conduct a research on The Construction of a Reflective Culture of Remembrance among Arab and Jewish Students in Israel.