Teacher training in social justice means that a teacher learns information on her own and is able then to share with students. A junior high school history teacher is determined to do just that.
Bryanne Mader is a seventh grade social studies teacher who started a social justice class last last year at Hammond Junior High Magnet School. She recently attended the Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She has attended several trainings on the Holocaust.
The conference shows ways to teach about the horror of the Holocaust of the Nazi camps in World War II. Some of the ideas that were shared included that teachers should never romanticize the Holocaust, focus on Hollywood movies about it, or give simple answers to complicated questions.
Another technique is to humanize the numbers. For example, the museum has a Tower of Faces that is three stories high. The faces are people from a small Lithuanian town, where the Jewish population was massacred. An entire community was erased.
“That could have been Hammond. That could have been Ponchatoula,” said Mader.