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British Teacher Terrorizes Students

Worst. Holocaust. Lesson. Ever.

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Um, don’t really know what else to do with this, so am just going to quote liberally from the Daily Mail article (h/t: Ynet):

A group of stunned primary schoolchildren began crying when their teacher told them during a bizarre Holocaust game that they were to be taken away from their families.

The pupils, aged 11, became upset after a number of them were segregated and told they were being sent away or might end up in an orphanage.

The ordeal was meant to give the youngsters at the Lanarkshire school an insight into the horrors faced by Jewish children during World War II. …

One girl said her classmates began crying when Mrs. McGlynn told them she had a letter from the Scottish Executive saying nine children had to be separated from their classmates.

She told the shocked youngsters those who were born in January, February and March had lower IQs than other children, ‘due to lack of sunlight in their mother’s womb’, and that they had to put yellow hats on and be sent to the library.

The mother added: “When I asked why on earth they thought it was appropriate to deliver a role play situation to the children in this way, Mrs Stewart informed me that they didn’t inform the children beforehand.

“This was because they wanted the children to experience an “accurate emotional response” to this scenario in order for it to be reflected in their story writing.

Jeeze.

Primary Schoolchildren in Tears After They Are Told They Will Be Removed From Families as Part of Holocaust ‘Game’ [Daily Mail]

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Dawn says:

You should watch the PBS Frontline special, “A Class Divided” to see a similar lesson that has become famous in America. The teacher divided the class into those with dark or light eyes and told one group that the other was superior. Then she switched them later and told them that she had been wrong, the other group was superior. The results were both heart wrenching and fascinating. The program includes interviews with the children years later as adults.

Jeff Carpenter says:

Teaching about the Holocaust is important, even crucial in today’s society; yet determining “the accurate emotional response” is misguided, if not arrogant on the educators’ part. How does one measure the effects of terror, some of which would last beyond the day, beyond the lesson? Children’s imagination,capacity for empathy and compassion were disregarded in such a role play that forced the issue. The books, the films, the photos, the testimonies of survivors, good teaching, and the kids’ own independent query—which will be repeated and revisited for a lifetime—are adequate to the task.

It’s not the first time schools have tried this kind of live-and-learn approach; I wrote a couple of years ago about teachers in California who told high-schoolers their friends (and, in some cases, siblings) had been killed in drunk-driving accidents, to scare them into staying sober. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well there, either: http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-06-13/bay-area/17164625_1_drunken-driving-teacher

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British Teacher Terrorizes Students

Worst. Holocaust. Lesson. Ever.

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