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Centre for Holocaust Education

The only specialist institute supporting teachers on Holocaust education in the classroom, using the best in contemporary research.

Through CPD, resources and our Beacon Schools, we help teachers to deepen students’ understanding of the Holocaust so they can think for themselves.

Research and teaching

Our centre brings together large scale national research into actual classroom with educational approaches, activities and materials that respond to the challenges of teaching and learning about this highly complex and motive subject.

Beacon Schools

We also offer schools the chance to work extensively with our staff as part of the annual Beacon Schools programme. Beacon Schools serve as dynamic hubs co-ordinating a network of local schools, helping them to develop confidence, proficiency and excellence in Holocaust teaching and learning.

About us 

Background

The initial phase of the IOE's work in Holocaust education produced the first ever national study of teachers' aims and challenges:

Before designing our support for schools, we wanted to find out more about what was already happening in classrooms across the country and to listen to teachers about their experiences, needs and challenges. This landmark study explored when, where how and why the Holocaust is taught in state-maintained secondary schools in England.

The researchers employed a mixed methodology with an online survey completed by 2,108 teachers and follow-up qualitative interviews with 68 teachers in 24 schools.

Expertise

The Centre has had a major and significant impact on how the Holocaust is taught and understood in educational settings in the UK and beyond.

In recognition of the Centre’s academic profile at national and international scale, Centre staff sit on a number of advisory boards:

  • United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial Foundation (UKHMF)
  • Imperial War Museum
  • Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism based at Birkbeck University, University of London
  • UNESCO and the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbooks Research
  • Steering Committee of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)
  • Claims Conference Professional Advisory Board, and providing advice and recommendations on funding applications from around the world
  • Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre (HHLC).

Members of the team have also:

  • Served on the Editorial Board for Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History
  • Served as Scholar in Residence at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Delivered keynote lectures, workshops and paper presentations at a number of academic and practitioner conferences including the British Educational Research Association and the American Educational Research Association, the Historical Association, Schools History Project and the Association of Holocaust Organisations
  • Been recognised in the New Year Honours 2017 list: Dr Nicola Wetherall was awarded an MBE recognising her services to Holocaust Education, Genocide Prevention and Human Rights Education. Nicola also serves on the Advisory Board for the Educators Institute of Human Rights (EIHR) and has recently been appointed to the Education Advisory Board of Genocide Watch.

Find more about our researchers, publications, activities, groups and themes: UCL Research Portal, IRIS

Our staff

Find more about our researchers, publications, activities, groups and themes: UCL Research Portal, IRIS

Study with us 

Programmes

Working with over 1000 teachers each year, the Centre offers a wide-ranging educational programme across England which includes:

  • a national programme of Initial Teacher Education
  • a variety of in-depth and subject-specific CPD courses, and 
  • the opportunity to engage in further study through the online accredited Master's module 'The Holocaust in the Curriculum'. 

Find out more and book your place:

Our activities

Collaborations

Our centre plays a leading role in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and works closely with partner organisations in the field both nationally and internationally.

We support the work of other institutions through disseminating research findings, evaluating projects, and providing advice and consultancy on pedagogical approaches.

United Nations

We have developed educational materials with the United Nations for its International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The ‘Footprints for Hope’ materials had more than 50,000 downloads in 2012, and more than 3,000 hard copies were distributed to government and NGO representatives from some 30 member states in the International Task Force (now the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance), and to UN officers around the world for use in their Holocaust education work. 

The materials have been translated into French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Romanian and Chinese.

Echo Eternal project

We were directly involved in the Echo Eternal project run by the Cabinet Office together with Core Academy Trust which sponsors six schools in Birmingham.

The Echo Eternal project was conceived by Core Academy Trust in conjunction with UKHMF. Its aim was to transmit to future generations the words and wisdom of Holocaust survivors and for young people to respond in their own way to survivors’ words.

A critical stage in this project involved the CfHE running a bespoke CPD for all the teachers and artists involved in Echo Eternal to ensure they had knowledge and understanding of the historical context of the testimonies and to offer expert guidance on how teachers can support young people in searching for meaning from what they had learned.

More info

See more examples of the Centre’s international impact.

Research

What do students know and understand about the Holocaust?

Our recent research draws on contributions from more than 8,000 11-18 year olds, building a detailed and authoritative portrait of students' knowledge and understanding of an important historical event. Teacher development programmes and resources offered by the Centre for Holocaust Education are designed to uniquely respond to key gaps in student knowledge identified by this research.

Research features

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Current research

We are currently conducting a new study to explore teaching about the Holocaust in English secondary schools, 10 years after our original research. The aim of this research is to explore the current landscape of Holocaust education in England, finding out more about teachers’ aims, definitions, content, pedagogy, assessment, knowledge, understanding and curriculum planning.

    Latest news 

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    Forthcoming events

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