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Title:Mandatory Holocaust education legislation in the state of Illinois: a historical study
Author(s):Mathewson, Paul Warne
Director of Research:Span, Christopher M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Span, Christopher M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Anderson, James D.; Pak, Yoon K.; Cain, Timothy R.
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This dissertation explores the historical development of the Holocaust as an event essentially unknown to a signification portion of people living in the U.S. to an event that presently is a mandatory subject in several states, permeates several aspects of popular culture, and is the subject of scholars from a cornucopia of academic disciplines. Beginning with the development of the term “genocide,” the second chapter begins to acknowledge the subtle but increasing awareness of the Holocaust through the first attempts by educators to begin teaching the subject, as well as how a series of events in popular culture engaged significant portions of the U.S. population, exposing them to the Holocaust. The third chapter focuses on the specific context of the rise of Holocaust consciousness in the state of Illinois, noting specific events like the neo-Nazi march through the village of Skokie, a suburb of Chicago home to one of the largest populations of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel. The development of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Commission followed by the creation of a legislative mandate in the state of Illinois requiring, “a unit of instruction,” on the Holocaust is the subject of chapter four, drawing on the accounts of the legislators, as well as their arguments for and against the bill. Much of their motivations were drawn specifically on the “lessons” that the Holocaust could teach, and routinely are accounted. In chapter five, the central focus is the implementation of the Illinois mandate and how it was received. By 2005, efforts were underway to include another unit of instruction listing several cases of genocide that teachers could choose to teach alongside the Holocaust. The final chapter concludes with efforts to the present to continue to amend the Holocaust mandate in the state of Illinois. Other states followed suit as well, either mandating or including learning standards for their school age students. Continued concerns regarding the implementation and a discussion of the educationally appropriateness for various age groups are explored, in addition to the continued existence of Holocaust denial. Despite concerns, the subject of the Holocaust continues to provide educational opportunities to teach students a wide range of lessons.
Issue Date:2015-07-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Paul Warne Mathewson
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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