SEATTLE—The Genocide Education Project presented a day-long training workshop for high school history teachers at the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference in Seattle, Washington and distributed Armenian Genocide teaching materials to more than 300 educators during the series of conference events, November 15-18.
Borrowing a title from the 2007 book “A Problem from Hell,” on the U.S. response to genocides, beginning with the Armenian Genocide, the in-depth, full-day workshop was led by GenEd education specialist, Sara Cohan. Joining the workshop as co-presenters were Mary Johnson of Facing History and Ourselves, Mimi Stephens of Choices, and Kelley Szany of the Illinois Holocaust Museum.
“It was heartening to hear educators discuss the importance of including the history of the Armenian Genocide in their classrooms,” said Cohan.
Workshop participants studied the origin of the term “genocide,” coined by legal scholar, Raphael Lemkin, after learning about the systematic annihilation of Armenians. Cohan shared Armenian Genocide survivor testimonies, beginning her presentation with GenEd’s recently produced 12-minute documentary for use in schools, “The Armenian Journey: From Despair to Hope in Rhode Island,” the story of Armenian Genocide survivor Margaret Garabedian Der Manuelian, told through her great-granddaughter, 21 year old Dalita Getzoyan.
Educators also heard case studies of 20th century genocides and appropriate approaches to teaching the subject. They participated in activities that can be replicated in their classrooms and were provided lesson plans and other teaching materials from the presenting organizations.
The National Council for the Social Studies is the largest U.S. organization devoted to social studies education. This year’s conference location, Seattle, made it possible for GenEd to introduce its services to more educators from the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the day-long workshop, GenEd also held a one-hour “poster session” describing the eight stages of the genocide process.
Cohan also distributed Armenian Genocide materials to hundreds of educators at GenEd’s information booth. “Many teachers said they use our online resources with great success in their classrooms. It was good to hear our TeachGenocide.com website is well-utilized, helping to fill the void left by most textbooks which often don’t appropriately cover this important part of modern history.”
The Genocide Education Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) educational organization that assists educators in teaching about human rights and genocide, particularly the Armenian Genocide, by developing and distributing instructional materials, providing access to teaching resources and organizing educational workshops. For more information about The Genocide Education Project, go to www.GenocideEducation.org.