Effective Instructional Approaches
Edited By Lydiah Nganga, John Kambutu and William B. Russell III
Chapter Nine: Global Citizenship and the Complexities of Genocide Education: Antonio J. Castro & Rebecca C. Aguayo
Antonio J. Castro Rebecca C. Aguayo
Preparing students as global citizens demands that teachers and students engage in conversations about genocide education, human rights abuses, and ways to dismantle intolerance. Much of genocide education focuses solely on the Holocaust and leaves silent how genocides still occur in today’s world. This chapter presents strategies for teaching more recent or current genocides as a way to foster critically minded, global citizens.
“Never again!” “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” These catchphrases echo through the halls of American public schools as students learn about the massacre of millions of Jewish people known as the Holocaust (Totten, 2004). Holocaust education, which for many U.S. students represents the only genocide education they receive, impresses on them the gravity of inhumanity and cruelty to others with the intention of conveying a moral imperative to fight against such atrocities. Despite these noble aims, the prevalence of Holocaust education may pose negative consequences for understanding human rights abuses and genocides today. First, Totten (2001) suggested that “if students do not learn about other genocides, they may assume that the Holocaust was simply an aberration of history” (p. 310), something relegated to the historical past. Second, Holocaust education, which refers to the ways in which the Holocaust is presented in classrooms, often promotes narratives that distract from key issues of human rights and social justice. Drawing on the need for a global citizenry, this chapter exposes the shortcomings in...
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