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Staff training in Genocide Studies

Posted: June 3, 2016

Teachers from the Individuals and Societies and English Language and Literature teams worked with guest speaker Ben Freeman from the HK Holocaust and Tolerance Centre last week to build their understanding of Genocide Studies. A topic that requires great sensitivity, but one that is an important one for students to learn about, it is covered in the DC MYP curriculum in both subject areas.

In Y9 students read and analyse literature that explores the experience of the Holocaust and in Y10 students inquire into Genocide with particular reference to the events in Cambodia from 1975-1979. The complex and contested histories of the Holocaust, Holodomor (imposed famine in Ukraine 1932-33) and the ethnic cleansing of Bosniaks in Srebrenica in 1995 are also explored in Theory of Knowledge in the DP.

Teachers were able to learn more and share their ideas about the use of case studies, making relevant connections for our students, as well as age-appropriate sources. One of the key challenges as educators is about the choices we make in terms of which histories to select for teaching and there was a great discussion about our responsibilities as an international school in Asia and the ethics of privileging or excluding the narratives of particular cases of genocide. The workshop was useful in developing new ideas and approaches for the units of inquiry we offer our students.