The Learning Experience
Looking at the Past and Learning from the emerging future.
A transformative learning experience promoting social justice and civic responsibility
Inspired by ordinary heroes who created a life-changing outcome for thousands of humans in need, we offer a unique character-building learning experience which will promote social, intercultural and civic competencies, create agents of change and teach moral responsibility thus bridging the gap of relevance; why are history’s lessons adaptable today and what’s my role?
Building on the historical context of the Swedish Red Cross White Bus rescue action in nazi occupied territories during World War II, the learning experience offers a clear example of courageous, moral advocacy in the face of systemic injustice, the learning experience offers a clear example of courageous, moral advocacy in the face of systemic injustice.
Our learning experience points to learn from the Holocaust, not only knowing about the Holocaust.
During the learning experience, we will analyze, identify and recognize the impact of the Holocaust during WWII on Jews as well as other groups. Exemplify how groups were treated badly because they were different. [CPALM SS.912.A.6.3]
The 3-part in-school learning experience will consequently build tolerant attitudes, cooperative and collaborative behaviors, compassion as well as further skills encouraging civility.
Format of the exploration:
The learning experience consists of 3 visits + a teacher briefing prior to the learning experience. The program is always tailored to fit your schedule.
Students will reflect on how citizenship was displayed in the past. They will be encouraged to concern themselves with the question: How can we be good citizens today and how does this relate to the present and our emerging future?
1] “How a jar of potato salad led to the rescue of 15,500 Holocaust victims.” [45 minutes]
The session consists of a powerful engaging multi-media presentation and reflecting questions. Online questionnaire after the session.
Students will be introduced to a little-known uniquely important historical event which took place in Nazi-occupied territories and Sweden during and after World War II; The Swedish Red Cross White Bus Rescue Action.
Students will hear about highly decorated compassionate citizens and reflect upon their compassionate actions and hear a gripping personal story from Elsie rescued by the White Buses.
2] “Looking at the Past and Learning from the Emerging Future” [approx. 45 + 45 minutes]
The session consists of a 20-min movie followed by a peer discussion and workshop with self-reflective worksheets. The movie conveys the fate from World War II, stories about what it is like to escape today and meeting with a grandchild of a survivor from World War II. The workshop challenges students to develop empathy.
3] “With Compassion We Create Better Futures” [45 minutes]
The session consists of a recap of sessions 1 and 2 followed by a workshop with a focus on developing awareness, compassionate citizens, acceptance, tolerant attitudes and encouraging civility. Self-assessments and peer discussions. The students will leave with a self-created journal.
Why is this learning experience important to your students need?
The learning experience will create agents of change and educate moral responsibility. It will build a tolerant attitude, cooperative and collaborative behaviors, compassion and other skills encouraging civility.
The historical context of the White Bus intervention in World War II offers a clear example of courageous, moral advocacy in the face of systemic injustice.
Students will be introduced to the perspective of life goals, purpose and passion, thus further develop:
- Awareness – Learn from our past.
- Empathy– Place us in the shoes of others.
- Intervention – Discuss the actions of ordinary heroes.
- Responsibility – Create a unique call to action (culminating activity)
- Compassionate actions & self-compassion.
How does the learning experience connect to the Florida state educational standards?
During the learning experience, we will analyze, identify and recognize the impact of the Holocaust during WWII on Jews as well as other groups. Exemplify how groups were treated badly because they were different.
CPALM SS.912.A.6.3 Analyze, identify and recognize the impact of the Holocaust during WWII on Jews as well as other groups. Recognize that groups may be treated badly because they are different.
The importance of the learning experience is expressed in Florida Statue 1003.42 (g)
“The history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), the systematic, planned annihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany, a watershed event in the history of humanity, to be taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions.”
and will address this by exemplifying how Nazi Germany systematically annihilated anybody who did not match the standard of the Nazis. Students will be introduced to Elsie; an American citizen, Roman Catholic who was rescued by the White Buses from Ravensbrück, and Iwanna; a Ukrainian Roman Catholic political prisoner in Ravensbrück.
We will discuss what it means to be a responsible and respectful person by showcasing how ordinary people with compassionate actions changed the life of thousands.
The learning experience points to learning from the Holocaust, not only about the Holocaust.
The Traveling Exhibit
We are working on creating a Self-Contained Traveling Exhibit will bring the symbol of the White Bus WWII Rescue Action. With Films, Pictures and Interactive Educational Material.
It will also honor the volunteers that risked their lives and recognize the very few Holocaust Survivors still alive today.
Participants will explore how citizenship was displayed during WWII in order to ask the question: How are we good citizens today?
The Swedish Red Cross White Bus Rescue Action in Nazi-occupied territories during WWII.
Presentation: “How a Jar of Potato Salad led to the rescue of 15,500 Holocaust victims”
The Swedish Red Cross expedition to the German concentration camps in March–April 1945 was the largest rescue effort inside Germany during WWII.
Sponsored by the Swedish Government and led by Count Folke Bernadotte, the mission became known for its distinctive white buses. Each bus was purposefully painted entirely white except for the Red Cross emblem on the side so that they would not be mistaken for military targets.