Teaching About Trauma Without Traumatizing: Yad Vashem’s Spiral Pedagogical Approach in Light of Developmental Psychology

  • Yael Richler-Friedman
Part of the The Holocaust and its Contexts book series (HOLC)


Richler-Friedman examines whether a solution can be found to the educational dilemmas inherent in the teaching of the Holocaust in primary schools, based on studies in developmental psychology and in recent studies about the teaching of history and controversial issues.

Upon reviewing the new curriculum issued in Israel, it is recommended that the spiral approach, which allows age-appropriate development to be a constructive base for educators involved in these issues. The spiral approach, which is both an end and a means to teaching a historical subject, serves also as a path to emotional containment that emphasizes the relevance of learning a complex, controversial, and traumatic historical subject like the Holocaust.


Holocaust education Spiral educational approach Primary school Developmental psychology Controversial issues 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yael Richler-Friedman
    • 1
  1. 1.International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem, and The Sal Van Gelder Center for Holocaust Research & Instruction, School of Education, Bar Ilan UniversityJerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations