Teaching, Learning, and the Holocaust: An Integrative Approach

Teaching, Learning, and the Holocaust: An Integrative Approach

Teaching, Learning, and the Holocaust: An Integrative Approach

Teaching, Learning, and the Holocaust: An Integrative Approach

Synopsis

Classroom study of the Holocaust evokes strong emotions in teachers and students. Teaching, Learning, and the Holocaust assesses challenges and approaches to teaching about the Holocaust through history and literature. Howard Tinberg and Ronald Weisberger apply methods and insights of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning to examine issues in interdisciplinary teaching, with a focus on the community college setting. They discuss student learning and teacher effectiveness and offer guidance for teaching courses on the Holocaust, with relevance for other contexts involving trauma and atrocity.

Excerpt

Ever since the publication of Ernest Boyer’s College: the Undergraduate Experience, and particularly Scholarship Reconsidered, the idea that research on teaching and learning could be a legitimate form of scholarship has been debated in the academy. the scholarship of teaching and learning, often referred to as SoTL, looks to the classroom as a rich source of knowledge. Sadly, SoTL has not always been given the same prestige or recognition as other forms of research. It was the goal of Scholarship Reconsidered “to move beyond the ‘teaching versus research’ debate and give scholarship a broader, more efficacious meaning” (Glassick, Huber, and Maeroff ix). Although strides have been made in recognizing SoTL, it still often lacks the backing of committees on tenure and promotion, particularly in baccalaureate and traditional research institutions.

Those of us teaching at community colleges face additional hurdles. in these institutions teaching is supposed to be the main function of the faculty. However, one of the main obstacles to SoTL at two-year schools is a bias against research, even if that research includes teaching as its subject. in fact, spending precious time reflecting on one’s teaching in an organized and disciplined way and sharing such knowledge through conferences and publications are often seen as luxuries. the majority of instructors in such schools do not see themselves as researchers nor are they viewed as such by administrators. We believe that teaching separated from reflective practice and collegial exchange runs the risk of stultification and that community college faculty who are afforded little time, few resources, and only nominal recognition to engage in scholarly reflection will see their own professional identities as knowledge makers diminished—in essence, they are becoming mere delivery systems. in this age of proliferating online instruction (including freely dispensed fare such as massive open online courses), such a threat is no longer merely an abstraction.

The situation at public community colleges has worsened as state and federal budget cuts have decreased the number of full-time . . .

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