This Toolkit is released as an online beta version. Teachers are invited to share their experiences in using this Toolkit by emailing one of the project contacts.

Role of the Teacher in Holocaust Education and Human Rights Education

A teacher prepares and coordinates the educational process. Her or his main task is to create an environment respecting human rights and promoting a culture of human rights. Furthermore, the students should be provided with time and space to learn about the Holocaust and human rights. Both teachers and students try to learn something together although the teacher has the main responsibility for the educational process and can influ-ence the success of the process with her and his skills, awareness of the specific situation and experience. Un-derstanding the educational process as a common learning opportunity means for the teacher also to respect the students as they are. They are holders of human rights. As they are having rights, they bear corresponding re-sponsibilities as they are holders of rights which they share with all human beings. Teachers have to respect students and encourage them to respect and be sensitive to others.

Especially in the field of Holocaust education and Human Rights Education, the credibility of a teacher related to the topics which are discussed is essential for the educational process. A teacher needs to be self-critical in this regard (e.g. about her and his own prejudices), using human rights as an ethical frame of reference.

Furthermore, the knowledge of the subject matter itself is essential and therefore professional development op-portunities are of the utmost importance. Support from local networks can be very useful to educators – and ulti-mately also for the students.
The learning activities of the Toolkit deal with complex topics at the centre of human existence. Therefore discus-sions can be led very intensely. These are opportunities for deep learning experiences, when you learn the right way to deal with it. To enhance this specific learning process, a teacher may

  • reflect where discussions could arise and may prepare her/himself for it

  • respect the right to express an opinion and the right to participate

  • activate the participants in the problem-resolving-process

  • give post-processing enough weight so there is enough time and space to express what needs to be said about the educational process , to the group, to somebody,…

  • be aware of the possibility to talk in the group but also in smaller groups or individually with the participants if privacy seems to be helpful.

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