Building on the 2017 Docent Handbook 2, the National Docent Symposium Council has published Tours with Children and Teens: A Handbook for Docents and Guides. The new
publication enhances and deepens information and guidance for touring with children pre-K through high school, home schoolers and multi-aged groups, and those with special needs. Practical help and suggestions are enlivened with lots of examples from a variety of museums, and illustrated with color photographs. The approaches presented throughout the handbook are equally relevant for in-person and virtual tours.
Co-authors Lindsay Noonan McAuliffe and Betsy Vourlekis (both from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, Freer and Sackler Galleries) and Jan Thorman (Walters Art Museum, Baltimore) have drawn on their own years of experience as docents, input from other docents and guides, and lots of research, to bring you this exciting and informative handbook. We hope that it will inspire confidence and enjoyment for the important work of docents and guides with young visitors.
For more information or to purchase a printed or digital version, please click on the link in the sidebar or visit this page.
There's still time to register!
Don’t miss the opportunity to make your 2022 National Docent Symposium reservations! Registration closes on August 26, 2022.
The last two years have been a long and tough slog. We have all felt a bit lost and overwhelmed. We need to find ourselves again…and what better way than to be with other docents and connect with each other, to learn and to grow.
So please, consider joining us for the 2022 National Docent Symposium. Let’s get together again as docents and remember what we’ve all missed these last two years…giving tours to people of all ages and watching that moment of discovery in their eyes.
Click on the logo to the right to visit the NDS2022 home page where you can preview the session options plus hotel and other information to aid your pre-planning.
This link will take you directly to the registration page where you will find a very helpful registration tutorial as well as host contact information to assist you in directing your questions to the appropriate resource.
We can't wait to see you in Kansas City!
In this 40th Ruby Anniversary year of NDSC we are highlighting the efforts of dedicated volunteers to bring best practices to our docent/guide community.
Betsy Vourlekis, Jan Thorman and Lindsay McAuliffe (pictured, left to right) are experienced docents who took on the task of researching and writing the new NDSC Handbook Touring with Children and Teens. Shelagh Barrington explains how the co-authors' combined backgrounds, extensive research, and input from other docents and guides have resulted in a professional and engaging roadmap for docent/guides.
Docents are acutely aware that words, and how we choose to use them, are important to making visitors feel welcome and appreciated. Read here how the docents at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco created a glossary of terms relevant to current cultural discourse and made it available to docents in an interactive platform.
Be inspired by this and other resources in our Diversity and Inclusion section.
The Nevada Museum of Art currently has an exhibition of works by Jean LaMarr, a native American artist. Museum docents and staff felt it was important when presenting her art to learn the story of the local Stewart Indian residential school, one of over 500 Indian residential schools operational in the US from 1890 to about 1980. Docents Betsy Burgess and Linda Miller relate how the experience assisted docents to better understand contemporary issues in Native American art. Read here.
We are proud to recognize our supporters by profiling the individuals and institutions that inspire them. From left to right, Gin Wachter (Saint Louis Art Museum); Cheryl Palmer (The Mint Museum); Renée Brummel Franklin (Saint Louis Art Museum); and Wadsworth Atheneum Docent Council 50th Anniversary.