AUA Faculty with Sara Cohan of Genocide Education Project, April 27

AUA Faculty Discuss Pedagogy of Teaching About Genocide

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On April 27, American University of Armenia (AUA) faculty hosted a small-group discussion with Sara Cohan, education director of the Genocide Education Project, to exchange thoughts on the importance and pedagogy of teaching about genocide and human rights.

Cohan was in Armenia for the “Challenges of Teaching the Armenian Genocide in the 21st Century” conference organized by the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute from April 20 to 22. She is also involved in the planning of the Genocide Education Project’s 2022 Fellowship Program to take place in Armenia in July.

“The opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with AUA faculty about human rights and genocide was a tremendous one,” said Cohan. “Sharing ideas about how to teach genocide was enriching for me and provided unique insights into how to approach the subject with sensitivity and constructive outcomes in Armenia, especially given the fact that most students at AUA are direct descendants of the Armenian Genocide.”

Assistant Professors Tigran Matosyan and Siranush Sahakyan, along with Adjunct Lecturers Suren Manukyan, Anna Aleksanyan, and Arman Tatoyan, who teach various courses offered at AUA including courses as part of the minor in Genocide Studies and Human Rights, joined the discussion sharing their views on modern pedagogical aspects of teaching about genocide and human rights.

Matosyan, who teaches the courses Armenian History and Understanding Genocide, noted, “Genocide education can play an important role in developing socially-responsible citizens by promoting awareness of the negative effects of bystanderism on people in a state of crisis and society in general, as well as by encouraging social activism. We had the unique opportunity to speak with the Genocide Education Project not only about the importance of education, but also about the latest pedagogies in teaching.”