Citizenship, Values and Holocaust Education Research Group
The research group on Citizenship, Values Holocaust and Education focuses on the nature and impact of education in these areas in schools in Scotland, and includes a focus on the reciprocal relationship between Science and Citizenship education.
The Citizenship, Values and Holocaust Education Research Group has the following aims to
- promote and conduct high quality, inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research in its core areas
- provide a forum for independent research and informed dialogue amongst researchers, senior policy makers and practitioners
- provide a research base to inform strategic development in universities, schools and colleges with respect to Citizenship, Values and Holocaust education
Research within this group is shaped and inform by national and international education policy emergent from the Scottish and United Kingdom Government as well as the United Nations. It influences pedagogy in Scotland and in the wider national and international communities. Research findings have contributed to the recognition of the positive value of school-based Holocaust education as evidenced in Scotland by local authorities’ provision of Continued Professional Development courses in teaching the Holocaust to teachers, and increasing numbers of schools commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day. In terms of science education, our research suggests that science teachers struggle to apply pedagogies that promote more democratic practices in the classroom. This has led to the development of the creation of a suit of Masters level module designed to up-skill science teachers in the delivery of controversial socio-scientific issues as part of the curriculum.
Our research has contributed to the educational debates on the contribution of Holocaust to Citizenship education, and the inter-disciplinary discussion of the co-conceptualisation of scientific and political literacy.
The Holocaust educational research has raised the profile of Holocaust education in Scotland to the wider European community, as well as to Holocaust education providers and researchers in Canada, the US and Israel. This research is taken forward by Dr. Paula Cowan who is a UK delegate on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and Professor Henry Maitles, (past president of Children’s Identity and Citizenship European Association (CiCeA). Dr. Cowan has been invited to give a keynote address at the UNESCO conference on ‘Teaching difficult issues in primary schools: the example of the Holocaust’ (Paris, 2011) and at the International Holocaust Research Conference in Education, in Lucerne, (Feb 2016). Maitles has been invited to deliver keynote addresses on Holocaust and citizenship in both Florence, Italy (2006) and at the International Educational Association of South Africa annual conference (2013).
This research group involves contributions from colleagues from across the Davison of Education, such as Dr. Stephen Day, Dr. Andrew Killen and Dr. Susan Henderson.