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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

Teaching about the Holocaust and Genocides

Best Practices

It is common for educators to be overwhelmed at the prospect of teaching young people about the Holocaust and genocides. The THGC is committed to offering workshops and other programs that build educators’ pedagogical and content mastery. The Commission also stresses adherence to methodological guidelines and curriculum standards, which help to establish a necessary framework for approaching the subjects in the classroom.

USHMM's Guidelines for Teaching about the Holocaust

The Holocaust has challenged the cognitive and communicative faculties of even those who were firsthand witnesses to its atrocities.

Read the USHMM's Guidelines

USHMM's Guidelines for Teaching about Genocide

Genocides continue in parts of the world. Although today’s genocides may be geographically far removed from Texas, our students can hardly avoid the subject.

Read the USHMM's Guidelines

Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills (TEKS)

Consider reviewing the various Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) that are aligned to the THGC mission of educating the public about the Holocaust and genocides.

Review the TEKS

Choosing Appropriate Language

Teaching and learning typically depend on communicating with words and images. This dependence is unavoidably fraught with problems when educators encourage students to appreciate the scope and depth of the Holocaust’s horrors. Western civilization’s relationships to language and imagery came under assault during the Holocaust. By design, the Nazis manipulated and abused language and imagery to implement the destruction of a people. In this context, learning about the Holocaust demands sensitivity to the power of conventional tools of communication. The call for sensitivity is not a matter of monitoring word choices for mere political correctness. Rather, it is about developing a more precise lexicon that might permit us to comprehend, convey, and resist what the Nazis set out to accomplish in their assault on life and culture.

Red Flag Terms

We highlight the following terms, not to say that they should be avoided in all lessons, but so that they may be used in their proper contexts.

Red Flag Terms