Education on genocide
Learning about the events and legacy of the Holocaust is crucial to understanding the modern world and our place within it.
Our research into Holocaust Education showed that 84% of teachers had received no formal training in the subject, despite its inclusion in the National Curriculum. To address this gap we pioneered a national teacher training programme with the Institute of Education.
The Jewish experience of the Holocaust also compels us to address the broader issues of genocide, which is why Pears Foundation backs campaigns against genocide and crimes against humanity.
Our approach to Holocaust education is founded on research and evaluation. In 2006 we commissioned a report on the challenges for Holocaust education in the UK, followed by a symposium for educators and Holocaust survivors. This identified teacher training as the urgent priority.
Following this, we partnered with the Department for Education to establish a national training programme based at the Institute of Education, the Centre for Holocaust Education.
The Centre’s work began with a landmark research project examining teachers’ attitudes and perceptions of the Holocaust. The findings provided the basis for the teacher training course, which is transforming the way the Holocaust is taught in English schools.
Since its establishment the Centre has reached over 1,200 teachers. In addition to its flagship two-day development programme, it works with Initial Teacher Education providers and beacon schools and has created a new masters module on the Holocaust in the curriculum. The Centre is also involved in developing programmes to teach about other genocides and works with other leading providers of Holocaust Education to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships.
Campaigns against Genocide
The Foundation supports Aegis Trust, which works to prevent crimes against humanity, and Crisis Action, which co-ordinates international NGOs to avert conflicts and ensure governments fulfil their obligation to protect civilians.
In 2007 we worked to raise awareness of the genocide in Darfur by publishing Darfur: A Jewish Response and distributing 10,000 copies to schools, synagogues, youth and community groups, politicians and journalists. We supported a series of events and workshops and encouraged Jewish participation in mass rallies alongside refugees from Darfur.