Open Access

Confronting subject matter education with memorial pedagogy. Guides at memorial sites and Holocaust museums

   | Jul 11, 2022


Teaching and learning about the Holocaust and Nazi crimes is an interdisciplinary and diverse field with many different stakeholders as well as various educational concepts and programs. If this topic is looked at from the perspective of formal subject matter education, especially history and language education are of concern. In the perspective of non-formal education memorial pedagogy [Gedenkstättenpädagogik] offers a wide range of methods. In this article, the guides at concentration camp memorial sites and Holocaust museums in Europe and the US shall be examined in greater detail: This group of people carries out crucial educational work – which often is overlooked. Guides represent a crucial point between institutions and visitors, between the past and the present, and between formal and non-formal education. Based on a variety of qualitative empirical data, like interviews with guides and pedagogical staff, analysis of educational materials and field studies at the sites, a typology of guides is developed following the methodology of Grounded Theory. The research focuses on how guides contribute to passing down the history of the Holocaust and Nazi crimes to visitors by leading their tours and how their perspectives can be reflected upon formal subject matter education of history and language.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy, other