Genocide Education and Restorative Practices in Schools
The central objective of this workshop is to introduce participants to the factors that contributed to genocide in Rwanda and explore the cost of "us-them" thinking to develop a culture of respect in their schools.
Using the award-winning documentary film, Coexist, and its four-lesson Teacher’s Guide, middle and high school educators will:
1. Develop a deeper understanding of factors that contributed to the Rwanda genocide
2. Have greater clarity about the concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation as they relate to post-genocidal society
3. Learn how to use the case of genocide in Rwanda to examine othering and encourage upstander behavior in their schools
4. Get ideas for interdisciplinary lessons, resources, and strategies
5. Experience new practices to engage students in small/large group discussion.
Across Massachusetts there are frequent reports of discrimination and acts of brutality that impact students’ ability to learn and flourish. No school or community is immune. The dimensions of the problem are colossal and what is at stake for our society is the growing pain and trauma of targeted individuals and groups, and the spreading of violence. We aim to address these by bringing the stories of victims and perpetrators of the Rwanda genocide to students and teachers so they can sharpen their own moral reasoning about how to engage with one another respectfully, and how to treat and protect one another from harm. This approach promotes the teaching of social studies as an inquiry arc to encourage student curiosity, and the application of history tools and concepts, gathering and evaluating of sources, and communication of conclusions for the purpose of taking action.
All workshop participants will receive a copy of the Coexist DVD and a link to the PDF of the Coexist Teacher’s Guide—a comprehensive curriculum for teaching about colonialism, genocide, reconciliation, and social emotional skills for dealing with difference and contributing to an upstander culture at their school.