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If we expose students to a study of human suffering, we have a responsibility to guide them through it. But, is this the role of school history? Is the rationale behind teaching the Holocaust primarily historical, moral or social? Is the Holocaust to be taught as a historical event, with a view to developing students' critical historical skills, or as a tool to combat continuing prejudice and discrimination? These profound questions lie at the heart of Lucy Russell's fascinating analysis of teaching the Holocaust in school history. She considers how the topic of the Holocaust is currently being taught in schools in the UK and overseas. Drawing on interviews with educationalists, academics and teachers, she discovers that there is, in fact, a surprising lack of consensus regarding the purpose of, and approaches to, teaching the Holocaust in history. Indeed the majority view is distinctly non-historical; there is a tendency to teach the Holocaust from a social and moral perspective and not as history. This book attempts to explain and debate this phenomenon.
Dr Lucy Russell lectures on the Primary PGCE and BA Ed courses at Goldsmiths College, University College London. Prior to that she was a History teacher in a Secondary School in Kent. She regularly writes for the TES.