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University of Mississippi

Holocaust Museum and University Bring Local Teacher Development

October 22, 2021 by Heather Lenard via Oxford School District News 

Laura Boughton, facilitator of the partnership between the University and the Holocaust Museum, tapes a piece of paper to the wall as a part of a participatory timeline activity.

Laura Boughton adds to a wall timeline as a part of a participatory activity during the K-12 workshop. Photo by Logan Kirkland/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

A collaboration between the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the University of Mississippi Department of History, and the University of Mississippi Library brought a unique professional development opportunity to middle and high school teachers in the region entitled “Americans and the Holocaust.”

Eight teachers from Oxford School District in addition to teachers from South Panola, Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, Pontotoc, Iuka, Calhoun City, Tishomingo County, and Lafayette County attended the unique professional development on the campus of the University of Mississippi on October 20th.

Topics for professional development included Rationale and Guidelines for Teaching on the Holocaust, Hollywood’s Relationship with Nazi Germany and America’s Memory of the Holocaust, and Interpreting News of World Events from 1933-1938 and the Challenges of Escape from 1938-1941.This full-day course provided a pedagogical approach to teaching about the Holocaust and was led by Laura Boughton and Kim Blevins-Relleva, Program Coordinators for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Boughton, who taught history at Oxford High School, recently began working for the museum full-time. Boughton has been a facilitator for the Belfer National Conference for Educators at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and has served as a Holocaust Museum Teacher Fellowship- a national corps of skilled educators who help ensure the quality of Holocaust education in secondary schools.


“Teachers face so many challenges with this difficult, yet important, topic. The museum strives to provide guidance and resources designed to help teachers feel more confident about teaching the Holocaust. The resources are designed to provide content and context surrounding the topic as well approaches to help students grapple with the complexity of this history. It’s such an important and relevant subject and teachers have so many demands on their valuable time to plan and prepare,” said Boughton.
This event was held in conjunction with Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition that examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. This special library exhibition — based on the exhibition at the USHMM in Washington, D.C. — will be hosted by the University of Mississippi library from December 1- January 14, 2022.