Minnesota Education Strategy

The Humanities Center’s Education Strategy is at work in Minnesota and has proven results that address the challenges of education from a humanities foundation. It is based on the reality that relationships are fundamental to learning and exist within cultures. This empowers educators to build relationships with students and communities to increase student engagement. The Education Strategy helps educators, students, and parents create success by closing the relationship gap that underlies and undercuts efforts to close the achievement gap.


Get to Know the Approach

Through professional development workshops and immersive field trip experiences, educators get acquainted with the Humanities Center’s approach and core values. Rigorous humanities content is complemented by activities designed to develop practical strategies for the classroom.

Increase Engagement Through Absent Narratives

Increase Engagement Through Absent Narratives serves as an introduction to the core strategies and concepts of the Minnesota Humanities Center’s approach to community engagement through absent narratives—those voices or stories often left out or marginalized. 

Designed for people from backgrounds ranging from education to government to community leadership, participants will exchange insights through personal stories, conversations, and guided reflections. While drawing upon their own experiences, participants will practice strategies that will help them engage others with respect and empathy.

Upcoming Workshop Dates:  April 28, May 3, and July 25

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Bdote Field Trip: Dakota in the Twin Cities

Spend the day visiting local sites of significance to Dakota people and learning about them from Dakota perspectives. As you experience these places, you will challenge assumptions made about Dakota history and identity and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of places like Pilot Knob, Wakan Tipi, and Mounds Park to this land’s first people.

“The name of the state of Minnesota comes from the Dakota language. The Dakota language is written on the landscape of the Twin Cities, in place names from Mendota to Anoka. The language is a reflection of a deep connection to this place.” - Bdote Memory Map

Upcoming Field Trip Dates: May 20, July 23, and September 17

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Using Blues Vision in the Classroom

Using Blues Vision in the Classroom prepares participants to have meaningful engagement with students through a deeper understanding of African American experiences and the black literary tradition in Minnesota. The two-day workshop takes Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota as the starting point for rigorous discussion and activities that cultivate practical strategies for using texts from the book as catalysts for change and conversation in the classroom. Educators will receive supplementary resources, strengthened relationships with colleagues and authors, clock hours, meals, and a copy of Blues Vision as part of this experience.

Upcoming Workshop Dates: July 25-26

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Veterans' Voices Workshop for Educators

The Veterans’ Voices Workshop for Educators provides resources and professional development to support educators in bringing the missing stories of Veterans, military service members, and military families into their classroom.

Through literary selections, authentic stories, and an immersive experience, participants will come away with a deeper understanding of the culture and impact of military service as well as strengthened relationships with colleagues and Veterans’ Voices content.

Upcoming Workshop Dates: April 28-30

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Go Deeper: Educator Institute

The Educator Institute provides an opportunity to engage more deeply with the Humanities Center approach. This experience further develops strategies to increase student engagement and bring absent narratives pedagogy into practice, while building a community of educators committed to relationship-based educational change in Minnesota. Participants will come away with:
  • Broadened worldviews
  • Strengthened relationships and shared vision among colleagues
  • A network of educators committed to relationship-based educational change
  • A self-designed Action Plan for bringing absent narratives into the classroom
Upcoming Institute Dates: June 25-June 30

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Continue Learning: Customizable Workshops

The Minnesota Humanities Center partners with organizations to offer customizable professional development for educators, including:

Please contact Casey DeMarais, 651-772-4278, casey@mnhum.org for more information.