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Survey Reveals Half Of Canadian High School Students Lack Knowledge On Holocaust And Other Genocides

Majority of Teachers Call for Enhanced Education Amid Global Events

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The benefits of teaching about the Holocaust are vast. They include combating antisemitism and other forms of racism, fostering informed and engaged citizens, promoting respect for diversity, recognizing human rights violations, and encouraging critical thinking. (Photo: Supplied)

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A recent survey has highlighted a significant gap in Canadian high school students’ knowledge about the Holocaust and other genocides. The study, conducted by The Foundation for Genocide Education in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies, reveals that only 51% of students are knowledgeable about these critical historical events.

The survey, which polled nearly 200 post-secondary social science and history teachers from February to March, underscores an urgent need for enhanced education on the Holocaust and other genocides. Nearly 72% of teachers emphasized the importance of this subject in light of recent world events.

While 93% of the teachers surveyed include Holocaust and genocide education in their lesson plans, such as through videos, films, or museum field trips, over 30% expressed dissatisfaction or neutrality about the current teaching methods. They cited barriers like lack of training, extensive material, time constraints, and curriculum limitations.

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Heidi Berger, Founder of the Foundation for Genocide Education, stated, “It’s clear from the survey that teachers are looking for more direction, training, and structure when teaching this subject to bolster their confidence and increase student levels of awareness and understanding.” A significant 92% of teachers agreed that Holocaust and genocide education should be mandatory for all secondary students in Canada.

The benefits of teaching high schoolers about the Holocaust and other genocides are vast. The majority of respondents highlighted combating antisemitism and other forms of racism, fostering informed and engaged citizens, promoting respect for diversity, recognizing human rights violations, and encouraging critical thinking. Additionally, 84% believe it helps create empathy and understanding among students.

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Curriculum Varies Nationally

The survey also revealed a disparity in how the subject is covered across different provinces. For example, 100% of respondents from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and British Columbia reported that their schools include Holocaust and genocide education, while only 47% of respondents from Quebec said the same.

Other provinces reported varying levels of inclusion: 93% in Saskatchewan, 91% in Ontario, 89% in Alberta, 88% in Manitoba, and 80% in Nova Scotia.

Berger emphasized the need for improvement, stating, “Considering the fact that only half of the teachers surveyed said that their students are knowledgeable about Holocaust and genocide education, there’s clearly work to be done to increase the effectiveness of the programs already in place in schools across the country.”

In response, The Foundation for Genocide Education is collaborating with the Quebec Education Ministry to promote a comprehensive genocide education guide for high school teachers across the province. This guide, developed by Montreal professors Sivane Hirsch and Sabrina Moisan, and supported by teacher training workshops, was launched in 2022. The organization aims to make the guide available nationwide.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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