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Teaching About Genocide: Issues, Approaches, and Resources

Teaching About Genocide: Issues, Approaches, and Resources

Teaching About Genocide: Issues, Approaches, and Resources

Edited by Samuel Totten
Information Age Publishing

In Teaching About Genocide, education professor Samuel Totten has selected essays from noted scholars internationally to address a range of issues in genocide education. For example, an early essay outlines a broad historical overview, while later essays present specific case histories of major genocides and offer instructional strategies for teaching about genocide.

Totten makes the case that there is a critical need for a well-informed and caring populace across the globe to prevent genocide. Without such citizens, he writes, “politicians are likely to continue issuing sound bites about the need to prevent genocide and then not acting when genocide rears its ugly head.”

As author of the chapter on instructional strategies, Totten recognizes that genocide is a complex topic that demands study of many sources of information. He emphasizes the need for educators and their students to understand how and why genocide is perpetrated, and much of the book is dedicated to closely studying 20th century genocides. Essays examine “situations and decisions (and lack of action) that contribute to and sometimes result in genocide.”

Totten argues that only by getting at the “whys” behind the whats, wheres and hows will students even begin to gain a clear understanding of genocide.

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