Assessing the Impact of Holocaust Education on Adolescents’ Civic Values: Experimental Evidence from Arkansas

42 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2019

See all articles by Matthew Lee

Matthew Lee

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Molly I Beck

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Date Written: March 25, 2019

Abstract

American adults overwhelmingly agree that the Holocaust should be taught in schools, yet few studies investigate the potential benefits of Holocaust education. We evaluate the impact of Holocaust education on several civic outcomes, including “upstander” efficacy (willingness to intervene on behalf of others), likelihood of exercising civil disobedience, empathy for the suffering of others, and tolerance of others with different values and lifestyles. We recruit students from two local high schools and randomize access to the Arkansas Holocaust Education Conference, where students have the chance to hear from a Holocaust survivor and to participate in breakout sessions with leading Holocaust experts. We find that students randomly assigned to attend the conference become more knowledgeable about the Holocaust and are more willing to act as an upstander on behalf of others. In our subgroup analysis, we find that minority students are significantly more willing to act as an upstander relative to their white peers.

Keywords: civics, tolerance, empathy, Holocaust, field trips, social studies, upstander efficacy

Suggested Citation

Lee, Matthew H. and Beck, Molly I, Assessing the Impact of Holocaust Education on Adolescents’ Civic Values: Experimental Evidence from Arkansas (March 25, 2019). EDRE Working Paper No. 2019-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3366966 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3366966

Matthew H. Lee (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Molly I Beck

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
15
Abstract Views
206
PlumX Metrics