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Background Information - Maine National History Day
Promoting the Study of History in the Schools
- What is Maine National History Day?
- An annual educational competition for all Maine students in grades 6 through 12. Each year students prepare papers, projects, or presentations that explore a broad historical theme. The program adds a new dimension to teaching and learning history, and rewards student initiative, creativity, and scholarship. It operates in cooperation with National History Day. The competition is typically held at the end of March at the University of Maine at Augusta. The top three entries are recognized in each Junior and Senior division in each category. The top two entries are eligible to participate at the National competition at the University of Maryland in June.
- Benefits to Students
- To foster creativity and imagination, students select from 5 category types to present their entries: papers, exhibits, documentaries, web sites and performances. Required research develops analytic abilities, as well as reading and comprehension skills. An interdisciplinary approach is encouraged, integrating arts, economics, sciences, and other disciplines. Problem solving skills and teamwork are stressed. Teams of educators and historians judge entries on historical quality, presentation, and adherence to theme. The experience of History Day enriches students' academic knowledge and practical skills.
- Benefit to Schools and Teachers
- The competition provides teachers with a means to encourage students to expand their efforts beyond the classroom experience. MNHD provides an excellent assessment tool; integrates the study of history with other disciplines, including writing, the arts, and other social sciences; supplies curricular aids (lesson plans, bibliographic guides); supports professional development through workshops and summer institutes; encourages interaction with academic historians, librarians, archivists, and public historians; involves families and communities in support of education. Winning schools, students and teams will be recognized for their achievements.
- Relationship to National History Day
- Maine History Day is part of a nationwide program involving all fifty states and the District of Columbia . 500,000 students and over 50,000 teachers and media specialists participate. Maine State winners may take part in the national competition at the University of Maryland in June.
Maine National History Day is an important opportunity for Maine schools, teachers, and students.
The most important purpose of the program is to change the way history is taught and learned by challenging students to conduct meaningful historical inquiry, and by providing an opportunity in which students’ work is evaluated outside the classroom. The goals:
- provide a model for meeting educational standards that require performance-based assessment;
- interest students in learning about history by integrating the materials and methods of social studies, art, literature, language, and music into their entries;
- develop research and reading skills; refine presentation skills in writing, visual projects, and performances;
- improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will help students manage and use information effectively now and in the future.
National History Day Works: Key Evaluation Findings (rtf 37.31 mb, pdf 357 kb)
An Evaluation Study of the National History Day Program
- An evaluation study conducted by research firm, Rockman et al, provides evidence that NHD works
- Researchers compared NHD participants to students who did not participate in NHD
- Looked at:
- Performance assessments
- Standardized test scores
- Academic performance
- Interest in current events
On nearly every measure, NHD students’ scores or ratings were higher than their peers who did not participate in the program.
- TEACHES critical thinking, writing, and research skills and boosts performance across all subjects.
- INSPIRES students to do more than they ever thought they could.
- PREPARES students for college, career and citizenship.