How to Teach the Holocaust to Middle School Students

This study examines the relationships among a sampling of 105 seventh-grade students’ achievement scores, attitudes toward instructional approaches, empathy scales, and the transfer of skills between traditional versus multi-sensory education. The dependent variables for this investigation were gain scores on achievement and empathy post-tests scores on an attitudinal survey, and weighted average scores obtained from transfer tasks. The independent variable was the instructional methodology employed. After determining the learning-style preferences of the students, a Control Group was formed to which lessons about the Holocaust were delivered according to traditional teaching methods (reading from textbook, graphic organizers, and responding to questions, in small groups or independently) while another Experimental Group was taught the same content using multi-sensory instructional resources and working in small groups. After this attitudinal and empathetic differences were gauged, as well as the students’ transfer of skills. In the end, this data, after being subjected to a statistical analysis, supports the implementation of a multi-sensory rather than a traditional approach for teaching lessons on the Holocaust.


“In this definitive work, Dr. Farkas uniquely blends scholarship with hands-on, easy-to-implement practices to guide educators toward meeting the challenging demands of teaching and learning to both academic and emotional intelligence. This publication is so unique that I anticipate it will inspire and benefit professionals, parents, and responsible citizens to be energized into continuing and extending the research on learning styles through Multi-sensory Instructional Packages.” – (from the Foreword) Professor Rita Dunn, St. John’s University

“ ... Teaching young learners to put themselves in another person’s shoes to gain true perspectives regarding the experiences and suffering of others can help to expand young minds in countless positive ways. This [work] successfully combines theory, research, and practical applications that provide educators with the necessary tools to do so.” – Professor Jennifer Lauria, Wagner College

“Readers will find Dr. Farkas’ work indispensable in its description of using learning-style teaching methodology, that promotes the importance of the need for adolescents (and all ages) to realize the effects of intolerance and to gain empathy for others experiencing prejudice and to assist today’s youth to reduce the pain of discrimination and to increase tolerance of others.” – Professor Laura Shea Doolan, Molloy College

Table of Contents

Foreword by Rita Dunn
1. Introduction
2. Review of Related Literature
3. Participants, Materials, and Procedures
4. Results
5. Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations
Appendix A – Learning-Style Inventory
Appendix B – Semantic Differential Scale (SDS)
Appendix C – Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale
Appendix D – Moral Judgment Interview (MJI) (Form A)
Appendix E – Holocaust Pretest
Appendix F – Holocaust Unit Posttest
Appendix G – Panel of Jurors
Appendix H – Jurors’ Questionnaires
Appendix I – Contract Activity Package (CAP)