“Local Heroes” and Innovative Evaluation in Moldova
"Discovering Local Heroes": 189 students followed this call and participated in the second national Moldovan EUSTORY History Competition. Individually or in groups, students handed in a total of 145 entries with elaborate stories about people they regard as “heroes” in their close communities. The competition was organised by ANTIM, the National Association of Young Historians of Moldova, in cooperation with the DVV International Country Office in Moldova, and Körber-Stiftung and funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.
On 10 October 2020, prize winners were honoured in an award ceremony in a hybrid format: Those who could meet in the State Pedagogical University “Ion Creangă” in Chișinău did so, the others joined the ceremony via a live video call.
The jury of the 2019/2020 competition praised the diversity of ideas and approaches to chosen topics, the originality of sources, historical analysis and argumentation as well as the diversity of formats used to represent findings. Students had chosen essays, posters, videos, PowerPoint presentations and diary-chronicles to document their findings.
The evaluation process followed a complex procedure with some innovative elements: All authors of the 32 entries that had passed the first evaluation round received a course in public speaking at the end of May 2020. It was meant as training for presenting their entry in front of the jury members the following June as part of the second evaluation round. Students used their newly acquired skills to quickly get to the point of explaining their motivation, the relevance of their project and how they conducted their research.
At the award ceremony, 11 entries of the 2019/2020 competition were awarded the main prizes in the different categories: One winner received the Grand Prix, two winners shared the first prize, three the second prize and five entries shared the third plize. All remaining 21 entries from the long list received a special mention.
In the course of the ceremony, students and teachers told about their experiences with the competition. Olga Trandafilova, a student from the village of Avdarma and winner of the Grand Prix in the lyceum category shared insights about her research. Her work focussed on Alexander Berger, a German military officer who openly opposed to the war. A call for justice in 1944, cost him his life, he was shot in Moldova. Olga explained how she discovered her village anew in the course of her research and how local authorities, teachers and the competition organisers had supported her project.
The award ceremony was accompanied by greetings from the project organisers, followed by speeches delivered by the Vice Ambassador of Germany in Moldova, Ullrich Harald Ernst Kinne, by the Moldovan Minister of Education, Culture and Research Igor Șarov, Chișinău’s Vice Mayor Angela Cutasevici, the representative of DVV International Bettina Brand and the representative of Körber-Stiftung Inka Siuts. In addition, experts like Tatiana Magaleas, a history teacher from Chișinău, and Sergiu Musteaţă, president of ANTIM, provided inspiration, practical advice and best practise for those wanting to continue exploring local and family history.