Classrooms and commemoration : teaching Polish/Jewish history and shaping citizens through School of Dialogue

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Farrell, Nicole Elizabeth

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This thesis examines the work of the Polish non-governmental organization Forum for Dialogue, specifically the program for students, School of Dialogue. This thesis argues that their regular programming for students, as well as educational resources centering on the 2018 documentary film Who Will Write Our History, represent a unique pedagogy and offer a counter discourse to ahistorical statements of the current Polish government. The Forum’s work represents democratic ideals currently espoused by the European Union. The first chapter provides an overview of how Polish-Jewish history has been studied and debated in society and describes the political climate in which Forum for Dialogue was founded. The second chapter explains School of Dialogue’s mission and analyzes commemoration projects created by student participants. The third chapter is a close reading of the lesson plans created to accompany Who Will Write Our History. Through this analysis, I reveal two sequences of learning evident in School of Dialogue’s work and qualitatively assess the potential impact of these programs.


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