ERIC Number: ED204319
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Training Community Volunteers for Museum Education.
Martinello, Marian L.; Cook, Gillian E.
A training program has been developed at the University of Texas at San Antonio to prepare community volunteers as museum tour guides. Since most teachers have not had training in the museum's role in education, it is often the museum docents who perform the teaching role in museums. A descriptive study was conducted as a preliminary phase of research into museum teaching and learning prior to establishing the program. Questionnaires were developed for docent tour guides and teachers who visit museums with their students, each intended to elicit preferences and needs for students' tours. Responses revealed the following problems: (1) Docents are asked to lead tours for all ages of children from nursery school through high school and are rarely informed in advance of what age group they may be addressing; (2) The group size determines the teaching techniques that will be used on a tour, and, for the most part, groups are too large for anything more than informed lecturing; (3) The amount of museum space that will be covered and the length of time available affect the amount of teaching that can take place; and (4) Communication between school and museum is often not enough to help docents understand what teachers expect of museum visits for their students. Particular emphasis is placed upon developing visual literacy in museum visitors. The need for collaborative programs between schools of education, museums, and the schools to develop effective training for teachers and docents in museum education is pointed out. (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A