Paula Cowan, Henry Maitles



Book Review Details

London: Sage Publications (2017) pp. 120

Paperback £20.00

ISBN 978-1473919341

Book Review Authors

Laura Wilson


This book is a must have for all educators in the teaching area of Social Sciences, in particular History and Religious and Moral Education. It is a well written book that is organised in a straight forward way, useful for the teacher to pick up and refer to easily.

The authors demonstrate and share their expertise as educators and as academics from beginning to end. The book begins with a fairly succinct introduction, sharing key objectives and setting the tone by explaining the process of the Holocaust and defining the Holocaust. They also provide a straightforward outline of the following eleven chapters.


As Holocaust educational researchers Cowan and Maitles (2017) provide a thorough exploration and explanation of Holocaust Education and its importance in the 21st Century learning environment. Chapters 1 to 5 focus on developing and supporting a thorough understanding of the Holocaust, discussing difficulties in defining key terms and concepts and sharing various perspectives in regards to antisemitism and Holocaust commemoration. This section of the book is fundamental in ensuring the reader is provided with the key points to successfully impart knowledge of the Holocaust. Chapters 6-10 provide the reader with broad teaching approaches for the classroom and beyond, the examples are fit for purpose and practical. Resources also include references to recent academic research and school based activities in Scottish schools.


Throughout the book there is clear message of social justice, humanity and sense of citizenship. Attention has been paid to ensure concepts and jargon are well defined, highlighting the importance of social and cultural literacy when teaching and learning Holocaust Education. The authors ensure that this is an informative text that is relatable to today’s ever changing world. However, further teaching and learning examples suitable to today’s globally connected classrooms could be of great benefit to the practicing teacher.


This book is an excellent teaching resource, providing practical activities and classroom resources that are tried and tested, including ideas for excursions and incursions. Each chapter begins with specific learning objectives and concludes with further reading. A focus on cross curricular and interdisciplinary pedagogy ensures that this book could fit into citizenship education around the world. As an experienced leader of Social Sciences in Secondary Education I can highly recommend this book to my colleagues in UK, Australia and Japan, as well as further afield.


Overall, this book has much to offer the educator who seeks to further develop their understanding and teaching of Holocaust Education, just as the title suggests.



Published in Volume 24 Issue 1 Dewey & Democracy: 100 years on,

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