Saint Paul College will again be hosting two of the regional History Day events on campus March 3 and March 5, 2012. History Day is a national academic challenge with more than 700,000 students participating nationwide. Each year a theme is chosen and the 2012 theme is “Revolution, Reaction, Reform.” History Day is for students in grades 6 through 12. Sponsoring Minnesota History Day is one of the many ways the College is promoting innovative teaching and learning through cooperative programs with the community.
Kurt Kortenhof, history instructor at Saint Paul College and a contributing editor for The History Channel Magazine, has worked extensively with Minnesota History Day for several years. He is again responsible for coordinating all of the logistics here for the History Day events on campus and has been instrumental in the College hosting the events. Kortenhof provides a number of opportunities for Saint Paul College history students to contribute as well.
Minnesota History Day is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota’s Department of History and is a part of an annual year-long project that involves more than 30,000 students in Minnesota. Participants work individually or in groups to write history research papers, create exhibits, put on dramatic performances, and produce documentaries—all with the goal of engaging students in the discovery and interpretation of historical topics. The process reinforces classroom teaching by rewarding students for their research, individual initiative, and cooperative learning. “It’s really a powerful example of a learning-by doing approach to teaching history,” says Kortenhof. “The idea is that when you give students a choice on how to learn, you can spark their creativity and imagination and get them excited about history. In the process, you change the way history is taught.”