AUSTIN, Tex.—At this year’s National Council for the Social Studies conference (NCSS), November 21-23, The Genocide Education Project (GenEd) provided two training workshops related to the Armenian Genocide for high school history teachers from around the country.
Led by GenEd’s education director Sara Cohan, the half-day workshop, “The Fundamentals of Genocide and the Armenian Case,” guided teachers through the history of the Armenian Genocide and how it became the architype for modern-era genocides that followed. Using The 10 Stages of Genocide—a formula for how genocide is prepared, carried out and produces long-lasting repercussions—Cohan demonstrated the parallels with other genocides. “I was gratified by the strong turnout and the teachers’ genuine interest in incorporating these lessons into their World History, genocide, and human rights curriculum,” said Cohan.
GenEd’s geography-themed workshop, “Mapping Genocide: Historical Geographic Information Systems and the Armenian Case,” showed history and geography teachers a novel way of teaching about genocide using an online platform, ArcGIS StoryMaps, to allow students to engage more deeply with historical topics by creating their own multi-media maps. Cohan demonstrated how students can plot key locations, events, images and videos related to the Armenian Genocide or other historical events into their own “StoryMap.”
This year, the NCSS conference, the largest and oldest social studies conference in the nation, was combined with the regional Texas Council for the Social Studies conference. “After speaking with Texas teachers over the past several years, we learned that many are introducing the topic of the Armenian Genocide in their geography classes during a curriculum unit on human migration,” said Cohan, “So, demonstrating StoryMaps seemed like a natural fit.”
Throughout the three-day conference weekend, GenEd also provided one-on-one consultations about teaching materials and methods in the classroom to scores of high school history teachers at their exhibit booth.