Preparation and Follow-Up
Preparation of the memorial visit (photo credits: Mauthausen Memorial)Teachers who visit the memorial site with their class often have the expectation that taking their pupils to this ‘authentic’ site of National Socialist crimes will help to raise their awareness of issues around human rights and democracy. But there is no guarantee that visitors will experience the site in the desired manner. Emotional overload from the horror followed by defensive reactions, disappointed expectations of the historical setting, confirmation of prejudices against victim groups, and a fascination with violence can all stand in the way of a successful learning outcome.
The chances of achieving educational aims are significantly raised when a visit to the memorial site is embedded within periods of preparation and follow-up. This creates a longer process during which knowledge is acquired, expectations discussed, aims formulated, experiences talked about and independent thinking encouraged. A visit to a memorial site cannot replace this on-going interaction, but can add an important dimension to it.
Under ‘Topics’ you will find content-led, and under ‘Aims and methods’ didactic approaches for preparation and follow-up to a visit. We also offer ‘Materials for Schools’.