Rwandan Educators Learn About Holocaust
November 28, 2011
Drew Beiter, an 8th grade social studies teacher at Springville Middle School, in Springville, NY, and Mark Gudgel, a literature teacher at Southwest High School in Lincoln, NE, are members of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Regional Education Corps, a select group of highly trained Museum educators. In August 2011, they launched an amazing project that trained about 30 Rwandan educators on how to teach about the Holocaust and genocide. We believe it’s the first formal teacher training program on the Holocaust or genocide in the country.
Recently, Rwanda mandated its national schools to teach about the history of genocide, but training and resources are scarce. So, Beiter and Gudgel designed this teacher training program to equip educators to introduce these topics to their students. The three-day conference was the first of what they aim to make an annual program.
The Museum provided them some seed money, but they had to get a lot of other funding and support through foundations, the UN and other bodies. The experience of training educators, who are all genocide survivors themselves, on how to teach about the Holocaust was incredibly powerful. They also arranged for a Holocaust survivor to speak to the group via video conference.