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Danny M. Cohen

Danny M. Cohen

  • Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Professor of Instruction
  • Associate Professor of Instruction, School of Education & Social Policy, The Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies

Organization or Lab


Academic Area

Learning Sciences

Research Interests

Holocaust and atrocity education; Hidden Holocaust histories; The design of informal learning environments; Museum, exhibition, and memorial design; Collective memory and marginalized narratives; Pedagogies for educating about violence and atrocity; Holocaust film and fiction; Film, art, and fiction as vehicles for social change.


Danny M. Cohen, Ph. D. is a learning scientist, writer, and education designer.

SCHOLAR: A Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Professor of Instruction at Northwestern University’s School of Education & Social Policy and The Crown Family Center for Jewish & Israel Studies, Danny is a learning scientist with a specialization in collective memory and education design. His teaching focuses on Holocaust education design; museum, exhibition, and memorial design; the design of community programs for social change; public learning through fiction and film; and marginalized narratives of atrocity and violence.

WRITER: An author of human rights fiction, Danny’s works include the choose-your-own-pathway mystery The 19th Window, the short story Dead Endsand the historical novel Train, a Teacher Fellows selected text of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. His academic publications include Overlapping TrianglesTeaching About T4, and Masks of Holocaust Memory.

INNOVATOR: Danny is the founder of Unsilence, a national initiative through which he designs and delivers highly-interactive in-person learning experiences, teacher training programs, and online interactive exhibits that support young people, educators, and communities to have tough conversations about social injustice in the past and present. ​

COMMUNITY LEADER: Danny in the co-chair of the Illinois Holocaust & Genocide Commission. He was a member of the editorial advisory board of the journal The Holocaust in History & Memory, he designed the pedagogical track of the inaugural docent training program of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, and he was a faculty fellow of the Auschwitz Jewish Center.

ARTIST: Danny is a selected artist for Brushes With Cancer, a program of Twist Out Cancer. And he co-wrote and produced an album as a member of the folk-rock band They Won’t WinBorn and raised in London, Danny lives in Chicago.


  • PhD, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University, 2011
  • MA, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University, 2005

Awards and Honors

  • 2019 – Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Professor of Instruction
  • 2016 – Faculty Honor Roll
  • 2014 – Faculty Honor Roll
  • 2013 – Outstanding Instructor Award
  • 2013 – Faculty Honor Roll
  • 2012 – Faculty Honor Roll
  • 2011 – Alumni Leadership Award

Selected Publications


Historical narratives in tension: Holocaust educators' perceptions of victimhood, 2001