Addressing Anti-Semitism In Schools: UNESCO And OSCE Launch Framework Curricula For Teacher Trainers


By Ifeoma Asika, Correspondent Campuses

Supporting educators in particular, UNESCO and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) are publishing new resources for teacher trainers, titled ‘Addressing Anti-Semitism in Schools: Training Curricula’. The publication was launched online November 24 at 17.00 CET.

Recognizing that schools are not immune to messages and acts of hate, UNESCO and ODIHR’s new publication prepares teachers and school directors to resist anti-Semitism through education and to address it when it arises in an educational environment. Divided into four distinct volumes, the publication includes targeted curricula for trainers of teachers in primary, secondary and vocational education, as well as school directors. The resources were developed with the support of the University College London Centre for Holocaust Education, as part of ODIHR’s Turning Words into Action to Address anti-Semitism project and within the framework of UNESCO’s programme on Global Citizenship Education.

The curricula follow a human rights-based approach and provide pedagogical knowledge and concrete activities, designed to strengthening learners’ critical thinking, understanding, and rejection, of anti-Semitism, prejudice and discrimination. Each volume includes a comprehensive list of good practices as well as examples of scenarios and methodological suggestions. Adding to the publication, the USC Shoah Foundation UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education is developing a website that will link the curricula to existing online teaching resources.

The new publication is based on UNESCO and ODIHR’s 2018 guidelines for policymakers on Addressing anti-Semitism through Education. In 2019, the guidelines informed a series of capacity-building workshops, which reached policymakers from more than 60 countries.

The online launch featured statements by Officer-in-Charge of ODIHR Katarzyna Gardapkhadze, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education Stefania Giannini, and German Ambassador Michaela Küchler, who holds the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Chair. There was a panel discussion which focused on the role of education in addressing antisemitism with the participation of Executive Vice President of the World Jewish Congress Maram Stern, Senior Vice President of International Affairs at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Sharon Nazarian, Executive Director of the University College London Centre for Holocaust Education, Stuart Foster. It was moderated by Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation and UNESCO Chair for Genocide Education, Stephen Smith. The framework curricula was introduced by Programme Director, Ruth-Anne Lenga and Associate Professor in History Education of the University College London Centre for Holocaust Education, Arthur Chapman.

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