Ziv, Yair, Deborah Golden, and Tsafrir Goldberg. “Teaching Traumatic History to Young Children: The Case of Holocaust Studies in Israeli Kindergartens.” Early Education and Development 26.4 (2015): 520-33.
Recently, the Israeli Ministry of Education initiated a mandatory nationwide curriculum for Jewish kindergarten children focusing on the study of the Holocaust. This initiative raises general questions regarding the inclusion of sensitive historical issues in curricula for young children. In this article, we use the new Holocaust curriculum as an instructive case through which to address the broader questions about what might constitute an appropriate and acceptable curriculum in early childhood. We discuss the initiative from three disciplinary perspectives: a developmental sciences perspective, an anthropological/cultural perspective, and a learning sciences perspective. As we demonstrate, these three perspectives not only represent different disciplines but also highlight different aspects of this issue, thus exposing the complexities of this discussion. We show that understanding these perspectives separately and then trying to combine them may enable a richer and more complex look on the broader questions that this specific curriculum raises. We conclude with an endeavor to integrate the three perspectives, all of which should be taken into account when constructing a curriculum for young children.