Students in a graduate reading class in the College of Education toured the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg on Saturday, Nov. 10, as as a way to bring to life concepts they have been discussing this semester.
The overarching theme for the course, Vocabulary and Word Study, is how the literature and content used in the K-12 classroom should be undergirded with social justice, said AnnMarie Alberton Gunn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Reading and Literacy. The class has been reading and discussing Night, the autobiography of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.
Most of the students are teachers and the rest are working toward their teaching certificate.
During the tour, the students learned about the teaching trunks the museum has put together and how the contents can be used in the classroom. “The trunks are an amazing resource,” said Dr. Gunn. “Inside the trunks are class sets of books, movies, DVD’s, posters all sorts of literacy tools. Teachers can check out these trunks and take them to their classrooms.”
The tour had a big impact, she said. “All the students talked about what a great experience it was,” Dr. Gunn said. “I think it definitely will influence how they look at literature and how they infuse it in the classroom.”
She said she plans to interview the students in a year to gauge the impact the class has had on their teaching.