Heritage Interpretation Training Handbook

Interpretive Training Handbook

Interpretation training in a box! It's all here: the principles, the ideas, the strategies - and a wealth of practical and proven training materials to reproduce and use... Until now there has been no manual available which addresses the key issues involved in teaching interpretation to others. The Interpretive Training Handbook: Strategies, Tips, Handouts and Practical Learning Experiences for Teaching Interpretation to Others at last fills this gap. It distils the experience of one of the world's leading interpretive trainers, John Veverka, and is based on his training techniques and exercises developed over three decades, and currently used in his university-level interpretation training courses.

Designed for use with a wide range of specialist staff - including interpretors, educators, designers, curators, gallery "explainers", guides and volunteers - in museums, galleries, science centres, historic houses and sites, parks, zoos and commercial tours, the book includes sample pre-and post-test "exams" that let you check if your training is actually working. Importantly, the techniques presented in the book are proven to work in illustrating interpretive concepts and principles. They are supplemented by a wealth of forms, checklists, exercises, worksheets, lesson plans and teaching aids designed to be freely copied and used.


1. What Interpretive Trainers Need To Know
- Subject matter proficiency
- Where to receive updated training yourself
- Attending conferences and workshops
- Professional memberships
- Professional journals and books
- Online training opportunities

2. Developing Your Training Plan
- Who is your audience?
- What are your objectives for the course?
- What knowledge and skills do you want particpants to become proficient in?
- How many participants will you have?
- Review participants’ current knowledge
- Determine the length of the training event
- Developing a training manual
- Developing training aides
- Developing hands-on learning sessions
- Developing a lesson plan
- Developing pre- and post-test evaluation
- Developing a schedule of instruction
- Planning for the training environment

3. Starting the Training Course: How Participants Learn in a Recreational Learning Environment
- Interpretive learning concepts with activities
- Remember visitors: what do they remember?
- Some ideas about visitor psychology
- Teaching about visitors’ motivational needs

4. Let the Training Begin: The Body of the Interpretive Workshop
- Teaching the definition, theories and objectives of interpretation
- An overview of the Interpretation Model
- Tilden’s Interpretive Principles
- Teaching theme development
- Introducing tangibles and intangibles
- Developing your program objectives
- Optional program presentation
- Evaluation and feedback from participants

5. The Practical Application of Interpretive Principles: Panel Design Practicum
- Introduction and instruction
- Developing the activity framework
- Teaching aides and materials required
- Small group activity dynamics
- Time frame for activity completion
- Display of panel designs and explanations
- Samples of draft designs

6. The Practical Application of Interpretive Principles: Exhibit Planning Practicum
- Teaching exhibit load matrix concepts
- Planning for exhibit flow
- What makes an exhibit interpretive?
- Examples of good interpretive exhibits
- Interpretive exhibit design practicum
- Practicum materials
- Interpretive exhibit planning worksheet

7. Evaluating Your Interpretive Training Workshop
- Developing your course pre- and post-test exam

8. Interpretive Training Resources
- Sample Lesson Plans
- Let’s Test Your Brain
- Interpretive TIPS Planning Form
- Program Planning Practicum Worksheet
- Interpretive Program Planning Worksheet
- Tour and Walk Planning and Delivery Checklist
- Tour and Walk Program Observation Critique Form
- Interpretive Exhibit Training Handout
- Interpretive Exhibit Design Critique Form

Professor Dr John A Veverka
Professor Dr John A Veverka is one of the world's leading consultants in interpretive planning, training and heritage tourism, with experience spanning over 30 years and taking him all over the world. He has worked on projects in Canada, Greece, Malta, Korea, Mexico, Spain, UK and throughout the USA.