Foreword by: Michael Berenbaum
Publication Date: October 15, 2021
Approaching the Holocaust in your classroom can be a difficult, often daunting task. This practical guide for English and social studies teachers features lessons learned from the author’s 17 years of experience teaching the subject in public schools, as well as his work with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Using anecdotes and empirical data, Gudgel offers advice for teaching the Holocaust in a way that is nuanced, socially responsible, and historically accurate. He provides guidance on common challenges and questions teachers will encounter, such as correcting misconceptions, using films, and discussing genocide with secondary students. While World War II grows ever more distant in the past, the lessons of the Holocaust are perhaps more relevant today than ever before. It may never be easy to teach about the Holocaust, but it can be done in ways that make it edifying and empowering, rather than causing despair. This approach is as important for educators as it is for their students.
Mark Gudgel is an adjunct instructor in education at Nebraska Wesleyan University, a 17-year veteran of public-school education, Fulbright Scholar, and fellow of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“Mark has reminded us all of the reasons we teach: to reach students and transform them, enlarge their horizons, empower them to grow, and, in Mark’s case, make them not only informed citizens but better people. . . . The Holocaust resists simple answers and raises significant questions. We must share our questions with our students and introduce them to a world that resists easy answers. Join Mark in pursuing the questions; share them with your students. Magic can happen in your classroom as well.”
—From the Foreword by Michael Berenbaum, professor, American Jewish University
“Gudgel’s book is a masterpiece that provides a healthy balance between big ideas and practical strategies for teaching the Holocaust. Using a teacher-centric voice and relatable real-life examples, Gudgel succeeds in creating a resource that not only will leave teachers thinking higher and feeling deeper but can motivate and inspire them.”
—Alan S. Marcus, professor, University of Connecticut
“How do we teach about the Nazi Holocaust of 1933–1945? How do we teach the unthinkable? The unteachable? Mark Gudgel has the answer in his outstanding new book Think Higher Feel Deeper. Gudgel addresses a wide range of issues pertinent to teaching the Holocaust that teachers will find are accurate historically and will contribute to excellent classroom interaction. This is truly one of the best Holocaust curriculum books I have seen or reviewed in the past decade.”
—Miriam Klein Kassenoff, director, University of Miami Holocaust Teacher Institute
“Think Higher, Feel Deeper is a stunning achievement that should quickly become an indispensable guidepost for educators. It is a remarkably fresh, candid, and compassionate inside view of both the challenges and moments that come with teaching about the Holocaust and genocide. Gudgel not only touches your heart and makes you laugh and cry, he leaves you empowered with an understanding that as an educator you can truly have an impact. I will continue to come back to this book over and over again.”
—Kelley H. Szany, vice president of education & exhibition, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center