The educational work at memorial sites lacks norms and standardization. Whereas a school teacher, or a tourist guide, has to receive standardized formal education, guides at memorial sites do not. In the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights publication Human rights education at Holocaust memorial sites across the European Union: An overview of practices, based on an extensive research of memorials across Europe, the following statement appears (page 12):

 "…the success of visits to memorial sites and museums (is) linked primarily to the quality of the educational approach and the competence of the staff of the particular institution". 

The support for guides needs to address questions such as how do we learn from history? How do we combine between history and the dilemmas and needs of society today? How can we learn from atrocities and draw positive values out of them? How can we learn from traumatic events and draw positive values from them? How can we engender civic education through a visit to a memorial site? How can we teach educational staff to empower their students? What sorts of structures engender interaction among participants? What sort of structures engender reflection, and how can they be implemented?

Read more: Introduction Support

The working group 2 has the task of developing ideas and methods in order to support the guides in their work at the memorial site. This applies to the guides’ attitudes, their social and psychological background, emotional situation and experience. 

After having developed a three-dimensional goal for the first workshop which stated the importance of self-positioning, self-image and self-empowerment, in the second phase of the EU-project the working group 2 focused on defining tools and methods which could help to achieve these goals.

Read more: Focusing the agenda / Workshop 2

The working group 2 gave a short introduction on the current situation of the guides at the Mauthausen Memorial. The group emphasized three dimensions that could and should be worked on in order to improve the situation.

The first important topic would be the self-positioning of the guides (e.g. towards the guide pool, the memorial), which would help to achieve some clarity regarding the representation of interests, communication etc.

The second dimension would be the self-image. An interesting question to pose is what a job description of a guide at a memorial site would say. Is it even possible to formulate one? Working on the self-image of the guides is necessary in order to achieve a self-reflective educational, political and didactical self.

Last but not least self-empowerment should be promoted. To achieve the goal of a learning, acting, communicating and communicative network, spaces and methods are required that help the guides progress in their work.

Read more: Self-image, -positioning and -empowerment / Workshop 1
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