Museum docents, teachers or guides are often the face and voice of a museum and, as such, they play a key role in visitor learning experiences. High-quality and extensive docent training programmes are extremely important in developing effective museum docents ready to present interactive and engaging museum tours.
Today’s museum teachers are expected to possess a wealth of museum-specific information, a variety of questioning strategies and how to facilitate and to shape a conversation with their group. All too often, training may cover some of these techniques in detail but not all.
‘Creating a Culture of Thinking’ is a comprehensive one-day docent training programme designed to cover all the foundational elements of creating successful tours; creating cohesive storylines, tour logistics, developing interpretive and facilitation skills and adding contextual information amongst others.
This training is based around the framework of eight cultural forces (as defined by Ron Ritchhart) found to shape the culture of group learning: time, expectations, interactions, routines, environment, opportunities, modelling and language. We explore ways that museum docents might best use these 8 forces to cultivate a culture of thinking when conducting group tours. It is the interaction of all of the forces that contributes to the overall dynamic and experience of the group.
This training aims to give docents a thorough grounding in the fundamental elements of constructing a coherent tour whilst also updating their practice with the most recent interactive strategies and thinking routines.