Terrible Knowledge And Tertiary Trauma, Part II: Suggestions for Teaching about the Atomic Bombings, with Particular Attention to Middle School

The Clearing House 86 (05):164-173 (2013)

In a companion article, “Terrible Knowledge And Tertiary Trauma, Part I: Japanese Nuclear Trauma And Resistance To The Atomic Bomb” (this issue), I argue that we need to teach about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even though the material is difficult emotionally as well as intellectually. Because of the nature of the information, this topic can be as difficult for graduate students (and their professors!) as for younger students. Teaching about the atomic bombings, however, demands special treatment if we are to prevent a sense of isolation, immobilization, or helplessness in students. We can do this by building a strong community of learning, offering students as much control over their learning as possible, and helping them find ways to connect to larger social and political processes and movements that make sense of an endangered world. Here I offer some thoughts on how to teach it, along with discussion questions, applicable to K-graduate school. Since middle-school students are becoming keenly aware of the larger world through the Internet, and middle school teaching can be (comparatively) easy to adapt for other age groups, I also offer some suggestions of some materials and projects appropriate for use with that age group
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