Docent Handbook

The handbook must be ordered on-line. To make a purchase, please click here.

 

 

The Docent Handbook 2

First published in 2001 and revised in 2017, the Docent Handbook 2 is a valuable resource for docents, guides and interpreters from museums and cultural institutions of all types in the US and Canada. A stimulating and informative "nuts and bolts" manual, the Docent Handbook 2 is useful for new and veteran docents, as well as an important tool for museum educators in their training of docents and guides.

The Docent Handbook 2 updates and expands the original handbook with new sections, material, and additional references to reflect the increasingly diverse audiences for museums, the arrival of our digital world, and evolving tour strategies geared to museums of all kinds. Included are sections on learning styles; seeing or learning from objects; family groups, school groups and serving visitors with special needs; appropriate language and guidelines for current practice in addressing arts and artifacts of indigenous peoples; dealing with problems; technology and the docent; and much more. Examples in the handbook reflect a wide range of museum settings. In addition, the handbook serves as a workbook. Each section in the chapter gives you ideas and best practices as well as space at the end of the chapter to write “Your Personal Notes.”

Read Customer Reviews HERE

How to Order the Handbook

The handbook must be ordered on-line. To make a purchase, please click here.

The price of a single handbook is $30 plus postage. 15% discount for a case of 30 or more handbooks plus postage.

 

 

 

The Docent Handbook 2: Table of Contents

Introduction

 

  1. Foundations
  2. Points of Departure
  3. On Language, or: What's in a Word
  4. Learning Styles
  5. Know Your Audience
  6. On Seeing or Learning from Objects
  7. Asking Questions: Observation-based Touring
  8. Act it Out! Hands-On!
  9. Sensitive Issues
  10. Dealing with Problems
  11. Looking Back & Facing the Future

History of the National Docent Symposium

Suggestions for Additional Reading/Resources

 

To place an order, please click here. 

 

Asking Questions:  Observation-Based Touring

“Whether you are a docent in an art museum or science museum, a botanical garden or historical site, conducting a successful tour is an art. It is not important how many objects visitors look at or how much information you provide – the importance lies in their developing observation, thinking and communication skills, and finding personally meaningful connection. In order to successfully guide visitors into developing these skills, you should master a series of questioning strategies that focus their attention on objects, involve them in creative and critical thinking, lead them to personal discoveries and challenge them to develop ideas and examine responses.”

Suggestions for Open-Ended Questions

“At its most successful, this method demands answers that are subject to interpretation, discussion, explanation and evaluation.

Observation and interpretation

How would you describe this object (place, picture) to someone who has never seen it?

* How do you think this object was used?

* What is surprising or new to you? Why?

Comparison

How are these objects (figures, animals, plants) alike?

* How are they different?

Prediction

If you were in this diorama (picture room), what problems might you face?

* What other . . . ? or How else . . . ?

Further development of the chapter topic includes sections on Close-Ended versus Open-Ended Questions; Suggestions for Response Techniques; and Observation-Based Touring (with separate sections relating to Art, History, and National Science museums).

To make a purchase, click here.

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First published in 2001 and revised in 2017, the Docent Handbook 2 is a valuable resource for docents, guides and interpreters from museums and cultural institutions of all types in the US and Canada. A stimulating and informative "nuts and bolts" manual, the Docent Handbook 2 is useful for new and veteran docents, as well as an important tool for museum educators in their training of docents and guides

The Docent Handbook 2 updates and expands the original handbook with new sections, material, and additional references to reflect the increasingly diverse audiences for museums, the arrival of our digital world, and evolving tour strategies geared to museums of all kinds. Included are sections on learning styles; seeing or learning from objects; family groups, school groups and serving visitors with special needs; appropriate language and guidelines for current practice in addressing arts and artifacts of indigenous peoples; dealing with problems; technology and the docent; and much more. Examples in the handbook reflect a wide range of museum settings. In addition, the handbook serves as a workbook. Each section in the chapter gives you ideas and best practices as well as space at the end of the chapter to write “Your Personal Notes.”

How to Order the Handbook

The handbook must be ordered on-line. To make a purchase, please click here.
The price of a single handbook is $30 plus postage. 15% discount for a case of 30 or more handbooks plus postage.

Customer Reviews 

From the San Antonio Museum of Art

The updated Docent Handbook is a must-read for docents with all levels of experience. For the more-recently minted, new insights, tips and techniques will come fast and furiously. But even the more experienced will benefit from the opportunity to reflect on and refine current practices. To discover that one’s own style and approach is considered a “best practice” can be reinforcing and validating. The suggestions for further reading, including journals, books and websites, should prove valuable to all.

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