School Touring

McNay Art Museum and Texas State University-San Marcos

Distractions that disengage youth on school tours have escalated and are taxing docents' abilities to make museum experiences meaningful for students. A university educator/docent and the Museum's Director of Education will offer insights that will help docents step up their skills for engaging adolescents and youth effectively. They will present a humorous blend of strategies that build docents' confidence in their abilities to overcome these challenging distractions.

Presenters: Dr. Teri Evans-Palmer, Assistant Professor of Art Education and school docent who has researched engaging students with humor and heart; Kate Carey, Education Director and developer of Docent Training Programs

San Jose Museum of Art, California

Are you interested in using technology to improve your presentations and/or better engage your audience, docent peer group, or museum? Docents from Art in the Dark, a digital art appreciation program serving sixth- to twelfth-graders, will share ideas for how to use technology to more effectively connect, collaborate, and inspire. Whether ready to apply these ideas to their own programs, or merely curious about what technology can offer, attendees will leave with practical ideas, tools, and resource documents to meet their own objectives.

Presenters: Toby Fernald, docent (twenty-seven years) and Art in the Dark Chair (spearheaded the program);Tricia Hill, docent (eight years), Art in the Dark Co-chair, and Art in the Dark program developer;Karen Lantz, docent (thirteen years) and Art in the Dark public relations developer


Phoenix Art Museum, AZ

The Student-Directed Visit at Phoenix Art Museum is a result of collaboration among Museum staff, docents, teachers, and students that empowers students to take ownership of their Museum experience. In this session we will explore the motivation for creating this visit format; the skills required; and outcomes for students, teachers, and docents based on evaluations. The methods for docent training and practice and the benefits and challenges of placing docents in a nontraditional role will also be covered.

Presenters: Kathryn Blake, Education Director and Project Manager for the School Program Research/Revision Grant;Ann Wall, docent (thirteen years)


The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco CA

The Asian Art Museum recently rolled out a new brand identity, "Awaken the Past, Inspire the Next." Envisioning a new brand required significant changes to school programs, from scripted tours to flexible visitor-centered guidelines and more interactive techniques for engaging the audience. Docents and museum staff will demonstrate how school programs continuously evolve to meet the needs of students and teachers by using one of the more popular school programs as an example, "Samurai: Real and Imagined." Session attendees will view a video on student participation, see how technology is used in the galleries, and examine a website that provides classroom resources for before and after a museum visit.

Presenters: Jane Dalisay, docent (thirteen years) and former Chair of School Programs (2003–2009);Bob Oaks, docent (six years) and Chair of the Samurai School Program Subcommittee;Susan Lai, docent;Caren Gutierrez, Manager of School and Teacher Programs


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Château Ramezay Museum and Historic Site of Montreal, Montreal, QC

Guides in costume from the Château Ramezay Museum and Historical Site of Montreal bring the history of New France back to life for elementary school students. While handling artifacts and completing child-centered activities, children explore three aspects of Montreal history – the First Nations, Voyageurs in the Fur Trade and Daily Family Life, producing food and clothing. The session will describe how volunteer guides at the Chateau Ramezay Museum and Historic Site of Montreal prepare and carry out this social studies program that includes many tangible experiences and activities to captivate a class for 90 minutes.

Presenters: Kathie Stafford and Carolyn Pepler

Theme Category: Successful Tours for School Groups

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