Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The contributions of a Holocaust and human rights education program to teacher learning
by Shah, Rachayita, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2012, 204; 3530684
Abstract (Summary)

Drawing on the principles of critical multicultural education and teacher learning, this mixed methods study examined the contributions of a professional development program (the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Program - HEP) to teachers' knowledge, attitudes, and practices, and the role of contextual factors such as school support, HEP support, years of teaching experience, and grade levels in mediating teachers' practices concerning Holocaust and human rights education. This investigation was based on an anonymous survey of 148 HEP participants and an interview with five of the participants who won the Holocaust education award.

The findings revealed that from the participants' perspectives, the HEP contributed to their content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, attitudes, and classroom practices. The participants found the HEP very useful in expanding their knowledge base about Jewish resistance, non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and role of rescuers.

Participants also reported learning about age appropriate curriculum resources and about useful pedagogical approaches such as personalization, discussions, and analysis. The participants reported developing a sense of efficacy and positive attitudes towards Holocaust and human rights education, and also designing curriculum with integration of diverse perspectives and various instructional strategies. Regression analysis did not reveal any significant variance in teachers' practices based on the above mentioned contextual factors; however, the interview data revealed the HEP's collaboration after professional development, school and community support, and teachers' own dispositions towards Holocaust and human rights education as additional contextual factors that influenced teachers' practices.

The recommendations for the HEP are to continue to provide informative sessions and good pedagogical techniques, to highlight the idea of global citizenship responsibilities during future HEP sessions, and to explore the integration of other role models in the context of current human rights issues in the absence of Holocaust survivors and rescuers. The recommendations for future research are to identify the reasons for non-responses through follow-up interviews, to investigate the reasons for a low representation of elementary school teachers in the HEP sessions, and to consider the use of other methods of data collection such as observations and student work analysis for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schoorman, Dilys
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Multicultural Education, Teacher education, Curriculum development, Holocaust Studies
Keywords: Holocaust and human rights education, Human rights, Multicultural, Professional development, Teacher learning
Publication Number: 3530684
ISBN: 978-1-267-70542-6
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