Sociology & Political Science

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The purpose of this study was to explore how learners make meaning of their experiences at exhibits depicting narratives of the Polish Righteous Among the Nations of the World, free-choice learning contexts. The study focused on two exhibits at a university in the mid-Western United States. The conceptual framework of the study integrates free-choice learning, the role of narratives, reflection, and Holocaust education. Three main mechanisms emerged from the qualitative analysis and interpretation of data of how participants made meaning of their experiences: through emotions, being challenged, and broadening awareness. This study further informs our understanding of meaning making and learning in free-choice learning contexts, suggesting ways in which we might provide additional prompts to bridge historical distance and integrate connectors to learners’ personal contexts in international education exhibits.

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Yelich Biniecki, S.M. and Donley, S. (2016). The righteous among the nations of the world: An exploration of free-choice learning. SAGE Open. DOI: 10.1177/2158244016659319

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