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Inside the docent experience: a case study of docents-in-training Lees, Katharine Isabel 1998

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INSIDE THE DOCENT EXPERIENCE: A CASE STUDY OF DOCENTS-IN-TRAINING by KATHARINE ISABEL LEES B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1994 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Curriculum Studies: Art Education) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1998 © Katharine Isabel Lees in presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) 11 A B S T R A C T The concept of education in museums and galleries is undergoing examination and change. The role and training of those who comprise the public face of the educative experience in these environments - the guide, docent, interpreter - should also be examined. This is a ethnographic case study of a volunteer docent training program at a large civic art gallery. The study is based on following six participants through nine months of training to present the gallery's K-7 school program. The school program was based on works by Emily Carr, temporarily joined by paintings of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Interviews and observation were used to collect data; active journal keeping was encouraged. The participants' motivation, challenges, reflective practice and issues are analyzed. Personal goals are contrasted with the goals of the gallery's school program and a dissonance between them is found. The volunteer nature of the participants' position is recognized as an element contributing to the findings of the study. The designation of the novice docent as "teacher" is examined; the analogy of the novice docent as "visitor" is recommended. The concept of learning in museums as "personal empowerment" is found to have implications for the training of the docent or guide. The study also recommends using models of active learning, such as reflective practice, to train docents or guides. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iii Acknowledgments v Chapter 1 - Introduction 1 Background to the Problem 1 Statement of the Problem and Research Questions 2 Implications 3 Overview of Thesis 4 Chapter 2 - Literature Review 6 Museum Education 6 The Docent 10 The Docent Perspective 12 Chapter 3 - Site/Methodology/Context ...16 The Site.. .. .' 16 Project Design 16 The Training Program 19 The Tour..: 21 Data Collection 22 Summary 25 Chapter 4 - Interview Summaries 26 The Participants 26 Carol •. ..: 27 Ingrid 33 Susan 37 Ursula 42 Yvonne 48 Zoe '. 53 Summary 60 Chapter 5 - Data Analysis 61 Introduction 61 Motivation : 61 Challenges 64 Reflective Practice 69 Issues 75 Summary '. 77 Chapter 6 - Discussion .79 Introduction 79 Museum Education Reviewed 79 Discussion..... 80 Role of the Docent 82 The Volunteer '. 82 Chapter 7- Implications and Recommendations 85 Implications and Recommendations from the Study.. 85 Recommendations for Further Research ..88 Further Recommendations 89 Epilogue 92 The Researcher as Outsider-Insider 92 References 95 Appendix A: Consent Form 101 Appendix B: Entry Questionnaire 102 Appendix C: Interview Guide 1 ...104 Appendix D: Interview Guide 2 105 Appendix E: Interview Guide 3 106 Appendix F: Final Questionnaire 107 Appendix G: Annotated List of Handouts to Docents 108 Appendix H: Emily Carr Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky 112 Appendix I: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Red Man Watching White Man Trying to Fix Hole in Sky 113 \ A c k n o w l e d g m e n t s I wish to thank the Gallery education staff and the participants in this study for their enthusiastic support. There would be no record of this particular docent experience without them. I also wish to thank friends, family and colleagues for their encouragement, especially my supervisor, Graeme Chalmers and my two special editors - my husband, Erik (editor and poet) and my mother, May Hipshman. p . l C h a p t e r 1 - In t roduct ion Background to the Problem Discussion of the role of education in museums and galleries1 figures prominently in museum literature. The parameters of museum education have been theorized and applied energetically in this century. The American Association of Museums (AAM) has become the standard-bearer for professional museum education in North America, forming committees to study education issues in the 1940s, and in 1973 forming a Standing Professional Committee on Education. The A A M authorized two reports2 a decade apart which confirmed the importance of an educational mandate for museums. These reports have become catalysts for further debate. Current literature focuses on an expansive definition of museum education, one that recognizes the informal and personal nature of learning in a museum. Roberts (1997) argues the role of museum education has gone from dispensing "Knowledge to knowledges, from science [scholarship] to narrative" (p.3). This constructivist shift puts the task of the museum educator in a new light and under new pressures. Economic pressures, from outside the profession create further impact on the mission of museums and their educators. One player in this dynamic arena who has received inadequate attention is the player who is instrumental in representing the educator's objectives to the public - the guide, the docent, the interpreter. Sometimes called the public's 1 Within this document the word "museum" denotes public facilities holding and displaying collections of art, culture or history unless, otherwise indicated. The general issues of educational mandate, resources and interpretation are applicable to a broader definition, but I sense other issues are implicated as the definition expands. 2 Museums for A New Century (1984) and Excellence and Equity: Education and the Public Dimension of Museums (1992). p.2 "advocate," this person may be a paid staff member, casual or full time, or a volunteer. The word "docent" is usually associated with the volunteer guide. The docent has been the subject of research and debate within the field, but those examinations have generally been from outside the ranks, looking from a professional perspective into what is at best described as a "para-professional" role. My interest was in recording impressions of the experience from inside. Statement of the Problem and Research Questions My interest in an insider's perspective on the guide or docent experience derives from my own three year experience as a guide in an anthropology museum. During that time I have engaged in some active reflection about my relationship to the museum and its collection, to the public, and to my own experiences as a museum visitor. I've examined my concepts of teaching and learning, and thought about the power of objects and what draws people to museums. I have been challenged by the demands of leading tours of visitors ranging from adults from all over the world, ESL students, and occasional high school or elementary students. Each tour is different; each tour should respond to those differences. Booth, Krockover and Woods (1982) describe the ideal tour this way: "the guided visit is a fluid, organic presentation that derives its form from the audience" (p. 11). In order to achieve that fluidity, I see the position of the guide/docent/interpreter^ as one that demands a specific knowledge, based on the collection and supported by a wider general knowledge; a motivation to examine personal beliefs about the nature of art and culture, and its public role; 3 There is some variation in the literature, and between institutions, about the terms used to designate the museum guide. There are often different terms to differentiate between the paid and volunteer guide. The word "docent" is commonly associated with volunteer guides; the word "interpreter" is often associated with outdoor sites. I use the three terms (and there are more) to indicate a similarity of purpose, and my own intention of addressing issues relevant to the larger group, who, in my opinion, all guide, interpret and teach to some degree. p.3 communication skills applicable to diverse public groups; and, most importantly, a flexible methodology. It becomes evident to me that not only is the guide or docent often in the position of an informal teacher, but must be a constant student. I became interested in exploring other people's experience in similar positions, hoping to discover some experientially-based insights that would enhance my role as a guide and be transferable to others attempting this role. A research problem took shape out of this interest. My study was initiated by the general question of: what is the experience of others learning to be guides/docents or interpreters within a museum environment? The inquiry became more specific as I chose to locate my project within an art gallery and its volunteer docent training program. I entered the study with questions derived from my own practice and from research in reflective practice and pre-service, or student, teaching literature. The open nature of my research questions was consistent with the ethnographic, or participant-centred, methodology I chose. I wanted to know from the study participants: why are you here? what problems arise for you and how do you solve them? what are you learning? what are the personal satisfactions of the job? These questions guided the three different interviews I conducted with each participant. My analysis was based on the common threads that arose within the questionnaires, interviews and observations. Implications The analysis focused on the themes of motivation, challenges and reflective practice. Reflective practice was my criteria for sorting learning experiences experiential learning that was "engaged, committed, and personal" (Emig, 1983, p. 127). Duthie's (1990) participant-based study of art gallery docents suggests that docents are "the first audience of the gallery's education program" (p. 2). The novice docents in my study demonstrated enthusiasm for informal learning p.4 opportunities for themselves and the students they guided. They consistently voiced a sense of conflict between meeting the goals of the gallery and the needs of the students. They affirmed, in their thoughts and actions, the museum education paradigm of personal empowerment - "the authorization of alternative modes of knowing and speaking besides the information-based methods traditionally employed" (Roberts, 1997, p. 131). The acknowledgment, and validation, of the docent or guide as an active learner, one who engages subjectivities while fulfilling their role, has implications for their training. It also has implications for the kind and quality of learning experience in which they engage the museum visitor. Overview of Thesis The three chapters that follow are arranged to take the reader from the very broad subject of museum education to the particulars of a specific docent training program; the next three chapters turn from the findings of the particular study to their implications within the broader field. Chapter Two, Literature Review, draws on the literature of museum education, from history to current theory, to contextualize the discussion of the role of the museum guide or docent. The volunteer docent is discussed. The need for an insider perspective is argued. Chapter Three, Site/Methodology/Context, describes the setting for the project, the methodology, and the specifics of the docent training program in which the study is set. More details of the training program are given in Chapters Four and Five where the experience of the participants requires further contextualizing. Chapter Four, Interview Summaries, introduces the study participants through summaries of three interviews, one formal tour observation, questionnaire responses and class observations, spaced over the nine months of p.5 their training. Effort was made to make these summaries as representative as possible of the full experience of each participant. Chapter Five, A n a l y s i s , sorts the individual interviews and regroups them into the common themes of m o t i v a t i o n , chal lenges, reflective pract ice, and issues. Chapter Six, D i s c u s s i o n , addresses the discrepancy in goals between the Gallery and the docents, and their differing views of the role of the docent. The relevance of the informal, or visitor-centred, education model is discussed. The volunteer status of the participants is viewed as an influential element of the study. Chapter Seven, Implications and Recommendations, aligns the engaged learning experiences of the docent-trainees with that of the current trend of viewing the learning experience of the visitor as personal and empowering.-Implications for the training and the role of the docent are discussed. Recommendations based on the study are offered, as well as recommendations for further, related research. Two additional recommendations are given that are suggested by the study. The E p i l o g u e is a brief essay on my experience as the "outsider-insider" or "peripheral member" within this study. p.6 Chapte r 2 - L i te ra ture Review Museum Education Education has been a prominent objective of museums and galleries since their inception as public facilities. The breadth and kind of educational experience offered to the public has always been subject to specific institutional mandate, guiding personalities, and larger socio-economical context. (Alexander, 1979; Ames, 1992; Cherry, 1992; Hooper-Greenville, 1991; MacDonnell, 1978; Ott, 1985; Rawlins, 1978; Zeller, 1989.). Zeller (1989) describes the spectrum of educational philosophies that accompanied the inauguration and development of public art galleries in the United States. The aesthetic/art appreciation model anchors one end of this spectrum and is represented by Benjamin Ives Gilman of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts who decried active publicity and "en masse" visitations. In his 1918 book, Museum Ideals of Purpose and Method. Gilman stated, '"a museum of art is primarily an institution of culture and only secondarily a seat of learning'" (in Zeller, p. 29). This attitude was reflected more recently in the 1960s by Sherman Lee of the Cleveland Museum of Art, who felt that "museums are ends, not means to ends," and that '"merely by existing - preserving and exhibiting works of art - it [the art museum] is educational in the broadest and best sense, though it never utters a sound or prints a word'" (in Zeller, p. 31). At the other end of the spectrum, representing the populist philosophy of museums and museum education, were people like George Brown Goode of the Smithsonian and John Cotton Dana of the Newark Museum, both active in the early 1900s. Goode saw museums as democratic centres of learning that should serve the '"mechanic, the factory operator, the day laborer, the salesman, and the clerk, as much as those of the professional man and the man of leisure'" (in p.7 Zeller, p. 34). For Dana, the museum's obligation was service to the community: '"a museum is good only in so far as it is of use'" (Zeller, p. 35). This philosophy was further espoused in the 1930s as reflected in such books such as, The Museum and the Community, and The Civic Value of Museums, (in Zeller, p. 37-39), and has resurfaced in recent times. In 1978, a massive volume illustrating the diversity of educational interpretation was published: The Art Museum as Educator: a Collection of Studies as Guides to Practice and Policy (Newsom & Silver, Eds.). Initiated by the (American) Council on Museums and Education in the Visual Arts, its aim was to "broaden understanding of the educational aspect of museum operations . . . to encourage new kinds of thinking, and at the same time to improve the ways in which museums help all of us to perceive the world around us" (p. 3). In 1984, the role of education as a "primary purpose" of American museums was freshly highlighted in the Report of the Commission on Museums for a New Century, sponsored by the American Association of Museums (AAM) (Weller, 1985; Stapp, 1992). Weller, in his review of the 1984 report, states that "museums have probably not begun to realize their potential as educational institutions" (p. 146). The Museums for a New Century report became the standard reference supporting research and development of educational staff and programmes in North American museums. In the period following Museums for a New Century, myriad studies were done, in many countries, on the visitor experience (Donald, 1991; Eisner & Dobbs, 1988; Falk & Dierking, 1992; Hein, 1995; Hooper-Greenville, 1994; Silverman, 1995), effective museum programming (Newlands, 1991; Henry, 1992; Hooper-Greenville, 1991, 1994; McLean, 1995; Prakash & Shaman, 1988; Zeller, 1987), and the role of the museum educator (Cheff, 1989; Eisner & Dobbs, 1986; El-Omami, 1989; Muhlberger, 1985; Munley, 1986; Roberts, 1997; Zeller, 1985). Museums as a people place. In 1992, The A A M sponsored another report, Excellence and Equity: Education and the Public Dimensions of Museums. p.8 that specifically linked museum education, "in the broadest sense," with an over-riding obligation to public service (Stapp, 1992). An echo of the populist philosophy earlier in the century, this sentiment has regained voice and support within the museum community in the past decades. The growing acceptance of the museum's more socially rooted obligation to serve people rather than objects has contributed to the heightened exploration of its educational potential (Ames, 1992; Cameron, 1971; Harper, 1993; Prakash & Shaman, 1988, Silverman, 1995). Cameron (1971) popularized the concept of the museum as "forum" as a complement to its role as a cultural temple. Others have embraced the idea of the museum as forum rather than temple. Harper (1993) describes the role of many museum educators as '"people's advocates'" (p. 21). Prakash & Shaman (1988) feel that museums "have an ethical and educational imperative" to attend to the realities of their publics' lives (p. 16). This is supported by Ames (1992) who sees museums as venues "in which larger societal issues are contested" (p. 10). Anticipating a "new age" for museums, Silverman (1995) suggests "museums may be singularly equipped to emerge . . . with exceptional new forms: ones that are relevant, multidimensional, and deeply rooted in the experience of being human" (p. 169). Economic realities also compel museums to be more accountable and attractive to the public and to funding agencies (Ames, 1992; Hooper-Greenville, 1995; Muhlberger, 1985; Soren, 1993; Sparshott, 1985; Stapp,. 1992; Williams, 1985). Ames observes that "economic pressures are encouraging museums to revise their relationships to their publics, seeking both greater popularity . . . and the moral approval of vocal minorities" (p. 9). The up-side of economic pressures is the emphasis on public service and the growth of public programming and education departments, improved public access and consultation in museums. The downside of economic pressure is. to regard the visitor as a "consumer" and run the museum as an entrepreneurial enterprise, where "infotainment" and p.9 maximum site usage replace social and ideological concerns. Nature of the museum education. At their best, museums are praised as ideal sites for adult, student, cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and even cross-generational education (Ambach, 1986; Landau, 1986; Zeller, 1987). A large part of current research focuses on collaboration between schools, teachers and museums (Calvert, 1992; Garoian, 1992; Landau, 1986; Moffat, 1988; Sandell & Cherry, 1994; Soren, 1993; Stone, 1994, 1995). It is acknowledged that museum education presents a different set of parameters from classroom education (McLean, 1995; Muhlberger, 1985; Roberts, 1997; Silverman, 1995; Sparshott, 1985; Walsh-Piper, 1994; Weller, 1985; Williams, 1985). The museum experience is object-based, site contextualized and promotes observation skills and subjective response, or what Walsh-Piper (1994) refers to as "possibilities for resonant experiences" (p. 107). Silverman (1995) writes about "visitor meaning-making" - the "visitor's active role in creating meaning of a museum experience through the context he/she brings" (p. 161). Many experts maintain the museum's objectives, under the ordinary circumstance of the short, typically single, visit, should be oriented towards "visual literacy" - looking and thinking skills - rather than the "one way conveyance of knowledge and information" (Mclean, p. 9). Muhlberger (1985) describes the potential of the museum experience as a "multilevel education for a broad audience" or "educational egalitarianism" (p. 98). Henry (1992) quotes Borun in describing "the strength of the museum as an educational institution is not in transferring specific information but in 'motivating, stimulating and exciting people'" (p. 84). Weller (1985) suggests "the educational experience that a comprehensive museum affords the individual may have a breadth of vision and insight which can hardly be obtained in any other way" (p. 147). The potential for excitement and curiosity aroused through an original work of art, a historical artifact, or a hands-on exploration or workshop based on original pieces, is the p.10 special domain of the museum or gallery. Mclean (1995) describes it this way: The opportunities for learning in exhibitions are tremendous - the unlimited ways of looking at and thinking about objects, or experimenting with phenomena; the diversity of the stories told; the dynamic nature of the dialogue visitors can engage in; the stimulation of so many senses. These are all about the richness of the experience. Not at all like learning facts, taking a test, receiving a grade, (p. 10) An important area seems to have received slight attention in the literature on museum and gallery education. If one is going to inquire into how and what people learn in museums, shouldn't one also inquire about those who interpret the museum to the visitor? Williams (1985) refers to those who mediate between the collection and the public as "multipliers" - those who take the expertise of the limited staff members and disperse it to the public. What is the experience of those who lead the more formal museum educational opportunities - the docent, the guide, the interpreter? How do these people learn to be conduits of the histories and intentions rooted in the collections? The Docent "Docent" is drawn from the Latin word "docere" meaning "to teach." The adoption of the term in conjunction with museums is traced to Benjamin Ives Gilman of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (c.1907), who, ironically, viewed the art gallery docent more as a companion than an educator (Zeller, 1989). In the intervening years, the docent has been variously described as a teacher, a volunteer instructor, a learning facilitator, an interpreter, a discussion leader, a host, a companion, an advisor, a guide, a guide lecturer, a translator, a presenter and a shepherd (Booth, Krockover & Woods, 1982; Cuyler, 1980; Hooper-Greenhill, 1991; Newsom & Silver, 1978; McCoy, 1989; Zeller, 1989). At the extreme, when defined as volunteers, they have been described as '"at the bottom of the pecking order'" and '"museum lepers'" (in Newsom & Silver, 1978, p. 242). The ambiguous position of the volunteer docent is reflected in this range of descriptive •p.ll terminology. Booth, Krockover and Woods (1982) describe the job of the docent as one of motivation rather than "telling," one of helping the visitor "clarify and broaden their thinking," and lastly, "not only must the docent evoke, he must also respond to the visitor's curiosity" (p. 10). Cuyler (1980) points to the complexity of the docent's role: their responsibility to the institution, the object, the visitor, or to students and teachers, and "not the least to him or herself" (p. 7). Duthie (1991) sees the docent positioned in the "critical interface between the visitor and the work of art" (p. 83) and as "advocates of the visitor to the gallery staff (p. 88). She supports Cuyler's reflections on the docent's diffused energies, and comments on the implications within a docent education program: The goals of the program often (seem) to rest on a loose collection of intentions which were derived from the docent's own interest in particular art works, the teacher's wishes for the tour, the general mandate from the gallery, as well as the specific thesis on which an exhibition was designed. (Duthie, pp. 88) I would argue that these observations on the complex and unclear nature of the docent's role can also be applied more widely to those who stand, paid or unpaid, in the position of interpreter between object, institution, visitor and self. Docent as volunteer. It is the docent as volunteer that draws the pointed criticism as evidenced in remarks such as "museum leper." The volunteer docent is not usually empowered with the in-depth education, certification, resources or status of the museum professional,1 yet is in the position of representing the institution and its collection to the public. The volunteer docent is defended by some as an "effective means of increasing community awareness and support," and if treated appropriately, "will have the motivation and self-confidence to do a professional job" (Bay, 1974, p. 25). Wolins (1990), also advocates valuing the 1 I am using "professional" to indicate someone with extensive education and/or training within a field, and who makes, or has made their livelihood with that training. A certain level of esteem is implied. p,12 docent "on a professional level" (p. 72). More commonly, docents are perceived as non-professionals in a "para-professional" role within a professional organization of educators (McCoy, 1989). This ambiguous position is also under the critical eye of curators, who may feel that they are the proper holders and dispensers of information relative to the collection (Newsom & Silver, 1978). Chadwick and Hooper-Greenhill (1985) observe that the debate on the role of the museum volunteer is often seen as a "basic conflict between 'professionalism' and 'accountability'" (p. 177). Newsom and Silver (1978) and McCoy (1989) describe in depth the pros and cons of the museum volunteer from both the institution's and volunteer's point of view. Casual attitudes, undermining of staff, lack of accountability, group dynamics, difficulty of evaluation and dismissal, and the economics of docent programs are some of the critical observations from the museum perspective. Unrealistic expectations, inadequate training, low status and "primarily ceremonial" recognition are some volunteer complaints. The contested status of the docent's position is generally overshadowed by acknowledgment of the docent as a necessary resource in the increasing demands for public accessibility within the context of shrinking budgets. What attracts people to this position of ambiguous authority? How does an individual meet the objectives and challenges of gallery guiding while attaining personal satisfactions, the primary reward for the volunteer? In the 1990's, who is volunteering for this job? Where is the voice of the docent? The Docent Perspective While the professional view on the role, training and value of docents is represented within museum literature, the point of view of the docents themselves is rarely recorded and analyzed. Cuyler (1980) interviewed and observed docents in the setting of three different Canadian art galleries (Edmonton, Ontario, and Hamilton) in order to obtain insights into the extent p.13 docents adapted the philosophy of their institution, and to examine their roles and practices. Docents perceived their roles essentially as mediators: "as a discussion leader or one who helps establish an interaction between the viewer and the work of art" (p. 34); to promote enjoyment of the gallery, and to help the visitor "realize there are many ways to look at art or that it can be interpreted personally" (p. 43); as a "facilitator of dialogue or communication," "to stimulate discussions . . . and (be) supportive" (p. 48). Cuyler noted that the training requirements of the docent are unique and recommended more training in art education content and learning theory. As well, she perceived that more knowledge of schools and students, and a cooperative relationship with teachers would enhance the school tours given by docents. Duthie (1990) undertook to examine the docent perspective in her magistral thesis, What it Means to be a Docent: Narratives of Art Gallery Experience. Through personal interviews with six docents from two different art galleries, Duthie sought to "know what satisfactions and frustrations docents found in their work" (p.2). She discovered enthusiasm, frustration and ambivalence among her participants, selected to represent a range in age, educational background, and guiding experience. In her conclusions, she points to the support found within the docent group, a "social system" that balanced the non-professional status of their position, and created a certain sense of autonomy; the role of personal satisfaction; the paradoxical nature of the docent's role as mediators between sophisticated works and concepts, frequently addressing a novice audience, often children, within a very limited amount of time; and the inadequacy of their theoretical base in art and education to readily respond to the complexities of their job. She draws attention to the influence of existing practical knowledge that docents bring to their new role, and suggests that research on teacher thinking and practical knowledge may be an appropriate resource for educators educating docents (p.89). p.14 Duthie characterizes the docent as "the first audience of the gallery's education program" (p.2) and "in some ways, the most active, responsive audience that galleries have" (p.72). This view is supported by McCoy (1989): "many education departments recognize the volunteer docent corps as the museum's most dedicated adult audience" (p. 139). Wolins (1990) and Duthie recognize the docent as both learner and teacher. Duthie suggests that "docents can offer information on their experiences as learners that could effect other adult education programmes in the gallery" (p. 3). Duthie's observations, supported by my own, convinced me that further study into the interpreter experience was an important step towards creating a positive and effective "multiplier" effect within museum education. In seeking a research location, I was influenced by my background in art history, my desire to expand my observations beyond my own work site, and my interest in an in-depth case study. While I am concerned with the broad issues of interpretation, the local city art gallery welcomed my research as it coincided with a current evaluation of their public programs, and in particular, of their volunteer docent program. I chose to focus my research on the docent-training program, because in my experience, the first year is the most intense learning and coping phase of being an interpreter. My intention was to involve trainees in examining their reasons, histories and expectations in relation to their choice to volunteer in an art gallery, and the process of learning to be a docent. The docent is often referred to as a teacher. The participants in this study experienced the dynamics of learning to teach informally in a non-classroom setting. Britzman (1991) refers to the subjectivities of learning to teach, of "coming to terms with one's intentions and values" (p. 8). She asks, "what is it like to learn to teach . . . what does it mean to those involved" (p. 10)? My own experiences and questions rooted in learning the nuances of guiding lead me to p.15 ask: Why are you here? What problems arise for you and how do you resolve them? What tools do you bring to the task? What are you learning? What are the personal satisfactions of the job? These are the questions that guide this study. In many ways my research parallels Duthie and Cuyler, and offers a re-examination of their results, but the focus on the novice docent presents findings that are particularly applicable to docent training programmes, and helps to create a more holistic description of the docent experience. While it is acknowledged that docents and other interpreters learn on the job (Cuyler, 1980; Wolins, 1990; Duthie, 1990), one assumes that improved training should produce a better return - that is, that more trainees will complete the program, their skills will be stronger, their enthusiasm deeper, and their longevity as tour leaders will be greater. p.16 C h a p t e r 3 - S i t e / M e t h o d o l o g y / C o n t e x t The Site My interest in the experience of other guides and interpreters, as well as my background in art history, led me to approach the city Art Gallery about conducting my research there. The Director of Public Programming had previously addressed the Art Education faculty at the University and suggested pairing the Art Gallery's needs with graduate students' research. My interests complemented a recently completed, in-depth evaluation of the docent program. That evaluation assessed "the strengths and weaknesses of the school tours program based on the perceptions of three stakeholder groups: 1) docents, 2) teachers, and 3) students" (Turnbull, 1996, p. 22). It convened two focus groups of docents divided by experience: docents who had been leading tours for five or more years, and docents who had led tours for fewer than five years. My study of the expectations and learning experiences of docents-in-training offered an opportunity to provide information about a category of docents not consulted in the evaluation. In addition, the training program I proposed to observe was in transition from an earlier model, so my interest coincided with the Gallery's own in gathering more feedback on that program. As well as obtaining the approval and support of the Director of Public Programming, I met with the docent trainer (coordinator) and received her permission to monitor the upcoming session. The trainer also agreed to be interviewed over the duration of the program. Project Design Once the site was determined, access and staff cooperation assured, the project methodology needed to be finalized. My predisposition towards an emic p.17 study1 developed in depth on a particular site determined the qualitative nature of my research. I did not presume, to discover over-reaching "truths", but to describe experientially based observations that might shed light on interpreter training in other places at other times, and contribute to a more insightful understanding of the participants and the process (Grauer, 1995; Wolcott, 1994). My discussion of the implications of my findings leads to generalized recommendations concerning the training of docents; my intention was not to systematically evaluate this particular docent program. The Gallery collected evaluations from the trainees during and at the end of their training. Those evaluations, plus other considerations, have affected changes to succeeding training sessions. The participant-based methodology of my study conforms to a qualitative research model. The concept of "responsive evaluation" (Stake, 1975; referenced in Alexander, 1982), emphasizes stakeholders' interaction with the researcher to determine the direction of research questions and outcomes. Alexander (1982) describes Stake's concept as "one of the first steps taken by the evaluation world in considering the complex realities and multiple value perspectives of participants in a particular educational setting" (p.66). Denzin and Lincoln (1994) have described qualitative researchers as those who "study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of or interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them" (p.2 ). Marshall and Rossman (1995) elaborate on this definition by stating that "mainstream" qualitative research "entails immersion in the everyday life of the setting chosen for study, values and seeks to discover participant's perspectives . . . views inquiry as an interactive process . . . is both descriptive and analytical, and relies on people's words and 1 Emic is defined by Alexander (1982) as when "the inquirer derives categories for data collection after interacting with participants in the setting" (p.64) ; Bressler (1993) refers to insider's perspectives and contrasts "emic" to "etic," "the researcher-outsider"; Creswell (1998) uses the term to denote inclusion of the points of view of participants. p.18 observable behavior as primary data" (4). Within the qualitative model, I further define my study as an ethnographic case-study. Creswell (1998) undertakes to define the five "traditions" within qualitative study, two of which are ethnography and the case study. The parameters of an ethnographic study include examination of the structure and function of a particular cultural or social group or system through field work, most typically participant observation, over an extended period of time for the purpose of describing a "holistic cultural portrait" (p. 60). Access is gained through "gatekeepers" (in this study, the Director of Public Programming, and the staff member leading the training sessions); "key informants" are sought out (the volunteer participants); and some degree of reciprocity is activated so that the participants are not merely purveyors of information. In Creswell's definition, deception by the researcher as to her intentions is not acceptable. Hammersley & Atkinson (1995) see ethnography as a means of understanding human behavior through "access to the meanings that guide that behavior" (p.8). Educational researchers recognize ethnography as a meaningful tool. In the Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education (1992). LeCompte and Preissle state that it is "our conviction that inquiry about the field of education and its settings requires the eclecticism and holism of qualitative and ethnographic research" (p. 854). Bresler (1994) believes "there is more to education than the product. What is important is the process of teaching and learning, and the process can be understood by examining the contexts in which the teaching and learning take place" (p. 15). Bresler (1993) states that "deep understanding of one setting can facilitate understanding" of other settings (p. 33). Creswell (1998) describes the case study as an "exploration" through multiple sources of information of a "program, event, an activity, or individuals" which is "bounded by time and place" (p.61). p.19 This study of docents-in-training is an in-depth observation of a specific program in a single, natural setting with emphasis on participant meanings. Docents are a group who share the practice of interpretation and the experience of being intermediaries; these docents also share the distinction of being volunteers. Docent practice has too often been viewed from the outside (Bay, 1974; Flanders & Flanders, 1976; Horn, 1980; Wolins, 1990; Wolins, Spires & Silverman, 1986). In this case study, a particular subgroup of this culture is observed and their voices recorded in a formative stage as relationships and practices are being shaped. The Training Program The docent training program that I observed and documented began mid-September and ran until mid-May of the following year, with "graduation" scheduled for the last week of May. Classes were once a week and ran for 2 1/2 hours. This time commitment was extended to a weekly tour obligation as the trainees began their shadowing (observing an experienced guide), integrating (presenting a part of the tour) and full touring. Docents were expected to continue touring until mid-June. I draw my description of the program from the Guidelines, distributed to each docent volunteer at the beginning of the training sessions, the training schedules, from my interviews with the docent coordinator (the docent trainer), and from my weekly notes. Docents are trained to give the tours that are central to the school, program. The goals of that program are to "facilitate understanding, appreciation and critical awareness of visual culture" through "student-centered tours which incorporate: clear educational objectives, consistent content and structure, (and) a variety of learning styles" (Guidelines). The program was initially set for 20 weeks of training, divided into two terms: "the first term will be spent examining the content and strategies for tours of the Emily Carr exhibition (and include) opportunities to observe tours led by experienced guides. In term two (the p.20 trainee) w i l l : conduct components of these tours so as to integrate into the program at a comfortable pace; be tested on tour goals; and begin g i v i n g f u l l tours to school groups" ( G u i d e l i n e s . ) . A third term was added, lengthening the program by ten weeks, w h i c h created addit ional opportunity to discuss tour issues and to offer further in format ional workshops to the trainees as they gained tour e x p e r i e n c e . T o p i c s covered w i t h i n the c lassroom port ion of the program inc luded l e a r n i n g styles, c o m m u n i c a t i o n and quest ioning strategies, w o r k i n g w i t h teachers, and group dynamics . Support staff members were introduced and presented workshops or talks on the exhibits , pr inciples of art and design, stages of children's development and its relevance to the tour, using the voice, and a media and materials workshop. A n animateur (paid staff member) modeled the school tour. Tours of the b u i l d i n g (architectural details and history) and of the conservation and col lect ion areas were offered. The bulk of this occurred i n the first 12 weeks; the second and third terms emphasized discussion of issues that arose dur ing shadowing, integrating and touring. The docent coordinator points out that this was not the or ig inal intention: "There was a lot of time doing classroom work first, practicing later. I much prefer to m i x them up but we started docent training a little bit early . . . and there was a re-hang, so we lost the first month of tours to get docents out there shadowing and pract ic ing." A p p e n d i x G , the annotated list of course handouts, indicates more fu l ly the scope of the t r a i n i n g . The Gal lery 's expectations of the docents were enumerated i n the G u i d e l i n e s . They inc luded attendance, part ic ipat ion, assigned readings, shadowing (observation of an animateur - a paid staff tour leader), absence and replacements, s ign ing up for weekly tours, profess ional conduct , and suggested contact wi th staff to address questions or concerns. The training program included a "test" i n January intended to be a p.21 performance evaluation by staff to determine individual readiness to begin independent touring. Each trainee chose one stop on the tour and was evaluated on a three point scale ("develop further," "fine," "excellent") in eight categories (goals, content, strategies, questioning, age appropriateness, presentation, pacing, transition). This process was similar to evaluations performed by animateurs during the tour integrations, and given to the trainees as feedback to help them assess their progress. The "test" was described to the trainees as an evaluative occasion and not a "pass or fail" event. For this particular group, the test results (two trainees were "failed") created tensions that affected some trainees for the remainder of the course. Some of these tensions surface in the participant interviews that follow. Three weeks following the test, a new ("docent-friendly") "script," meant to give the docents more structure, and more confidence, was introduced. Newly touring docents were given self-evaluation forms and encouraged to "try and set aside 10-15 minutes at the end of each tour to reflect on how it went; compare current self-evaluation to a previous one and see how you improve." Two group evaluations of the program were conducted: one in April, an in-class "brainstorm," and one in mid-May when a form was distributed for written feedback. The Tour The trainees were prepared for a specific tour which took place in the Emily Carr gallery, a space dedicated to works by Emily Carr within the larger gallery. The tour was intended for school groups, kindergarten to grade seven. For most of the time period covered in my study, the selection of Carr works also included works by First Nations artist, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. The tour was scheduled for 45 minutes, was divided into three sections plus an introduction, and was toured by two docents and an animateur simultaneously, requiring a timed rotation within the exhibit. The tour was followed by an optional studio workshop p.22 led by the animateur. The training program mixed content with methodology: a child-centered, inquiry based method, grounded on the Feldman model of questioning from the concrete to the abstract, was introduced and practiced. While objectives and strategies were explicit for each stop, the docents were also to encourage input from the students through descriptive, analytic and interpretive questions. Props and movement tableaus were encouraged at particular paintings. What started as a "model" for the tour became a "script" midway through the training. Suggested "phraseology" and points of focus were added to "learning objectives" and "teaching strategies" in hopes of assisting the trainees. This shift from a model tour to a scripted tour, and the balancing of a script with a child-centered methodology, within a tight choreography was the focus of much commentary within my interviews. The tour content and timing were modified on two occasions; once, with the new script in early February, and towards the end of the training program when the Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun material was removed, as scheduled, from the Carr gallery. Data Collection I introduced myself and my research interests to the program participants on the first day of training. At the same time I handed out a written introduction, an entry questionnaire, and a consent form for those willing to participate in my study to sign and return (see appendices A & B). I began my study with a 12 point questionnaire, offered to all members of the program, which intended to set a ground-line as to participants' experience, perceptions and expectations. I reviewed the questionnaire with my research participants at the first interview and asked for any further comment. Four questions, regarding the role of the art gallery, the role of the docent, the purpose of a tour for children, and the purpose of a tour for adults, also formed the basis of my exit questionnaire, distributed to all remaining participants at the end of the program. I anticipated different p.23 answers at the end of the program as a result of prolonged preparation and practice in presenting art at the Gallery. My initial intention was to arrange four interviews over the course of training with those who consented to participate in my study. The logistics of arranging and processing the initial set of interviews (13, including the coordinator) modified my original intention. The final number of interviews per participant was three, plus an observation of individual tours between interview two and three. Interview times ranged between 30 minutes to one hour. Interviews were transcribed and returned to interviewees prior to the next interview. This was done both as a verification procedure and with anticipation that it might prompt further discussion. In the first interview I asked all participants to consider keeping a journal. Although the response was positive, I thought returning the interviews would also serve a reflective purpose, as I explained to my participants: I've been thinking about this because some people are not certain about the journal idea, so the other thing I'll do is give you a copy of the transcript because in fact it's as much yours as mine. And by reviewing that it might give you further thoughts that didn't come up today. Grauer (1995) made the decision not to return interviews to her participants for fear they may be "unduly influenced to reiterate the same thoughts in subsequent interviews" (p.7). Fears that the transcript might prejudice the next interview responses was unfounded. The interviewees generally made no corrections or clarifications of the transcript; many neglected to review them prior to our next interview. The most noteworthy corrections were to awkward expressions rooted in the use of English as a second language. A few participants observed that the process of interviewing and re-viewing did make them more sensitive to their personal process within the program. One participant noted the strangeness of seeing her verbal responses in print, "it's interesting because it shows how you appear. Rather than how you feel inside, p.24 and sometimes those two things don't coincide. It's something you can improve on. I reread each interview, highlighting material (difficulties, observations, critiques) and formed related questions to supplement the succeeding interview. For all interviews I used a guide (see appendices C-E) that was personalized by questions derived from the previous interview, and was responsive to the direction the interview took as it proceeded. I closed each interview with an invitation to the participant for "any further comment?" Interviews were held at the participant's convenience, at the gallery (a meeting room was usually available), over a coffee, at school or at home. I collected all class handouts and tried to keep up with the class readings. I attended all (but one) of the weekly meetings and kept a notebook. This class diary was interspersed with entries recording solely personal thoughts about what I was observing, implications to the study and implications to my own on-going practice as a guide. I was able to attend the group evaluation session (the "test") and observed each of my participants as they presented their chosen tour fragment. I also made an arrangement with each participant to watch them deliver a full tour when they felt comfortable enough for an observer. M y hope was to de-brief after these tours, rather than carry a notebook, but circumstances were such that only two participants were able to take the time to talk after their tour. I made post-tour notes so I would have some record of the tour and my observat ions . Halfway through the program, I offered each participant a small, hand-decorated notebook as a gesture of appreciation. This token was also a muted encouragement to take up journal writing. I included a quote from Emily Carr from one of her journals: Yesterday I went to town and bought this book to enter scraps in, not a diary of statistics and dates and decency of spelling and happenings but just to jot me down in . . . . It seems to me it helps to write things and p.25 thoughts down. It makes the unworthy ones look more shamefaced and helps to place the better ones for sure in our minds. It sorts out jumbled up thoughts and helps to clarify them, and I want my thoughts clear and straight for my work. (Carr, 1966, Hundreds and Thousands . . -., p. 20) My other gesture of appreciation was a tour of the anthropology museum for all program participants at the end of the training sessions; it was intended as a reciprocal opportunity for the observed to observe and critique, for the tour guides to be the visitors, and as an opportunity to consider issues of touring cultural material. I contacted each participant as I neared my data analysis and sent a draft of the individual interview summaries to each of them, asking for comments regarding accuracy and representation. I received positive responses from two participants, one of whom asked for very minor editing. Bressler (1994) notes as researchers settle into a research setting they experience a "tension between involvement and attachment" (p. 7), and "often assume the role of participants, striving to gain a deeper understanding about the perspectives of the insiders" (p. 16). My experience as participant-observer included some of this tension. The epilogue records something of that experience. Summary I met with encouragement at the local Art Gallery to pursue my ethnographic case study of docents-in-training. The volunteer docents were trained to tour school groups through the Emily Carr Gallery, which temporarily held works of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Class handouts and observations set the descriptive context for the study. Three interviews over the nine-month training period, and class and tour observations gave me participant-centered context and primary data. p.26 C h a p t e r 4 - Interview Summar ies The Participants Volunteers for this program were recruited through ads placed in local papers, the BCTA (British Columbia Teacher's Association) Newsletter, and public service announcements. As well, flyers were handed out at the Gallery admission's desk, sent to the local art school, artist-run centers and the appropriate departments at the local universities and colleges. Two information sessions were scheduled prior to the beginning of training classes. McCoy (1989) and Newsom and Silver (1978) agree in their portrait of the museum volunteer as "overwhelmingly white, female and well-to-do" (Newsome & Silver, p. 244). While the majority of this docent trainee class was female and Caucasian, there were women of various ethnic backgrounds as well as men who began the training sessions. The age range seemed to be from the 20's to the late 40's. There were 20 people in this group for the first month or two, twelve of whom volunteered to participate in my study. "Graduation day" saw an all female group of ten representing different ages and ethnicities, six of whom were active in my study. To my knowledge, the decline in numbers can be attributed to over-commitment (i.e. family, work, other interests), voluntary withdrawal (a realization that the program didn't suit them or they didn't suit the program) and . requested withdrawal (two people). The docent coordinator noted, "statistically, the way it breaks down, is at the end you have one third of what you started with and that's a good case scenario." In this case 50% completed the course, and half of that group indicated they would return in the fall as "senior" docents. My final group consisted of six women, three of whom were students in their 20's, and three of whom were in their 40's. Four of the six were working at least part-time, one in child care, one in retail sales, one as a medical technician, p.27 and one as a property manager. Three were attending school for a period within the study, as well as working and volunteering. Four had experience teaching (adult and community education, public and private systems), five described themselves as art makers to varying degrees, and five had volunteer experience, two of those previously in museum settings. The individual summaries that follow are intended to give the reader of sense of each participant, their expectations and the range of their experiences within the boundaries of promised anonymity. The names used are arbitrary. The summaries are based primarily on the three interviews, supplemented by class and tour observations, as well as entry and exit questionnaires. Wolcott (1994) cautions, "in the very act of constructing data out of experience, the qualitative researcher singles out some things as worthy of note and relegates others to the background" (p. 13). I was very cognizant that the act of summarizing each participant's experience as related to me was a process of selection for brevity and impact. I tried to edit conscientiously, being sensitive to chronological context and a comprehensive representation of each participant's concerns. I used the participants' own words generously as I felt that would the best way to represent their experiences. I feel I have achieved what Wolcott describes as "appropriate" description which "returns ultimately to the immediate purposes being addressed and . . . maps a course between extremes of too-selective reporting or hopeless obfuscation"(p. 14). Chapter Five reduces and regroups these summaries further through the selection of common themes. Carol Carol had a MFA (studio) and had some experience teaching art to children and to adults. During the course of our interviews, she credited her ease with younger children to this experience; she welcomed the challenge of working with older students: "some of the older kids have a tough shell, and that's what I'd like to do, to get through that and dialogue past that. That would be a real p.28 achievement." When queried about early experiences in art galleries, she commented that "being aware of the existence of art" was important to her own development as an artist. She considered herself a regular gallery visitor, both to public (mainstream and alternative) and commercial galleries. In the preliminary questionnaire, Carol described the role of a docent as a "liaison between gallery and public," and the importance of a gallery tour for children as a means to "open their minds to art as an alternative or as a connection with popular culture." Her reason for volunteering was "to gain experience interacting with children and the public, and gain experience in a gallery context." This was her first volunteer experience. In the first interview, about five weeks after the course began, Carol was feeling positive about the training, particularly noticing that she got "a lot of energy" from talking about art to children. She recognized she was "really passionate" about art and had a desire to "just make people think about it, to get a critical awareness [about the] communication of visual ideas." She commented on the pace of the program as "going really slow," noting her own tendency to be an initiator and organizer. She particularly liked a class exercise on different learning styles (a "learning channel preference checklist" to indicate to what degree one was a visual, aural or haptic - hands-on - learner). From her experience with children and art, she had discerned differences in the way children related to different materials, and this exercise confirmed her recognition of "different kinds of thought patterns, different ways of negotiating." She showed a willingness to keep a journal, seeing it as "not so much as a personal thing, [for expressing] angst but more just as even learning myself, as a form of reflection." Our second interview was in January at a point where Carol had done her shadowing and some integrating. At this juncture, Carol's primary concern was still the pace of the class. Classes began with a open discussion period, allowing p.29 people to ask questions about material or observations in the gallery as they shadowed or integrated into animateur-led tours. A few people asked most of the questions, and quite often many of their concerns were addressed in class materials handed out previously. Carol expressed her impatience to "just get into what we're doing rather than waste a lot of time going over the things that most people already know. Maybe if someone doesn't know they should just figure it out for themselves." She struggled with this impatience, trying to take some responsibility for it: "I find I'm the kind of person who likes things really quick . ; . and I get frustrated when things seem to be dragging on. At the same time, I'm thinking, well maybe you have to deal with that . . . being accepting of other's levels and not being selfish about it." She also recognized that her experience as a university student had prepared her to be an active learner: "when we bring up articles and some people, maybe not having been exposed, feel threatened, they have a hostility to ideas that are too new or different. I feel like I've been through that already on my own. Going through . . . (university) you're exposed to a lot of that, and it's either wake up or don't bother." She made efforts to realize something personal from the slower pace and working within the group. Watching the other trainees prompted her "to do some unlearning and become conscious of the habits I have." While she recognized the importance of not misrepresenting the art works, Carol indicated some ambivalence about the touring methodology of specific goals, objectives and strategies for each selected work, joined with a questioning technique intended to encourage students to be active participants in the tour. The element of a dialogue with students based on their observations offered an option to what she perceived to be a "herding" of students "like cattle through ideas." She was relieved to be encouraged by one animateur to worry less about getting "an agenda across but just leave it with the kids, and not get up-tight about it." She valued the opportunity for dialogue as a "challenge to the adult too -p.30 it engages you on an equal level. The students don't know you so why should they sit and listen to you for an hour. . . on a one-time meeting, what's the point?" She also made the point that she was "getting away from validating" student's responses (with "good," "right" . . .) and this had an affect on her work outside of the gallery. Carol spoke of the comparison of Emily Carr and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun as the hardest part of her experience to date, feeling that it was "a little artificial trying to get to the point" (of comparing the two artist's interest in environmental issues). She also felt the tour could be more inclusive of other works by the artists, looking at groupings of work rather than "using all your energy on one piece" which she felt was a little forced. She thought the stop in front of Carr's Forest was an example of that and that she had more success incorporating the adjoining forest paintings in her presentation. The second interview took place a week after the test for individual readiness for touring, and just prior to the first class meeting after that testing. Carol's only comment about the test was that it was good to go through the process together, it lent a degree of "camaraderie" and an opportunity to "learn from each other." She commented on the smaller class size (it had lost a few students over Christmas) as "changing the dynamic . . . a bit better being smaller." I observed Carol give a tour to grade one students in mid-April. Carol arrived just as the tour began; this rushed beginning seemed to throw off her concentration for the tour, although overall she was relaxed and engaging. Timing was a problem in this tour, and at one point Carol found herself between two stops and had to improvise. The attention of some of the children began to wander, but she was able to bring them together around the photographs of Emily Carr. There were a few parents present in the group Carol led and some children chose to sit with their parent rather than joining the group on the floor in front of the paintings. In retrospect, Carol realized she should have insisted on all the p.31 children being together. Interview three took place in June, during the last week of touring. Carol had both positive and critical comments to make of the full training experience. Re-reading the previous interviews, Carol came to the conclusion that she had "matured a lot in the process;" that she appreciated her strengths of being able to meet children on their level and make them feel comfortable; that her art background helped her understand and present the material. She felt the training had helped solidify these strengths, and allowed her to observe teachers interacting with their students and the effect of enthusiasm and preparation, or lack thereof, on student's receptivity. She learned a lot about speaking in public and using humour with older students. She described her greatest pleasures as "being involved with people," "being in front of the public," and "being in an educational setting." Carol also commented on the good feelings she had about "being part of the Gallery, feeling part of the whole structure," but she qualified that by saying that "on another level, you feel expendable" and questioned whether the public program staff were being "straight-forward," and added "sometimes I feel insecure about my relationships with the people in programming." She had a sense "maybe because of the other things that came up in the year" that other class members felt insecure as well. She described her position within the group as "good" but a bit "distanced," not wanting to get involved with what she felt was "gossip." When asked about the script, introduced after the testing, Carol commented that "I got the ideas from the script, the main points, but I used my own words. . . . The challenge, I think, to making a really good tour, is to see the ideas, then to have them distill in yourself, and then have your own way of saying it." She referred again to the importance of considering the different ways that people learn (visually, aurally, haptically), but that sometimes she felt the tours were too p.32 "crammed" arid "superficial," that "the meaning of the tour is a little too controlled. They don't really allow for different views maybe (because) there are certain things that have to be said. And I think art is bigger than that, and there's more to it." Carol was working part-time and trying to find full-time work. She identified her biggest personal challenge as keeping the touring schedule and "my life consistent with that." She described these "weaknesses" as "organizational" and "I think they were my responsibility." I closed the final interview with questions about changes to personal views on art (including reactions to Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun), education, and the role of the docent; in particular, I asked if it was appropriate to consider the docent a "teacher," a term used frequently within the training program. Carol felt secure in her knowledge of art techniques and issues from the beginning, so primarily she valued the opportunity to get to know Emily Carr better. While she still viewed Lawrence Paul's technical skills with some reservations, she recognized his appeal to the children and commented how they "gravitated" to his work. Carol was more sensitive to the complex role of the art gallery, and its public obligations as a "melding place" and responsibility to "incorporate different communities." She commented, "sometimes it works and sometimes I don't think it does. Sometimes they try to please too many people." She was comfortable with the designation of a teacher within the definition of "someone who is leading people into knowledge, not someone who's preaching to them about something, but someone who is helping them discover it themselves, someone who is giving guidance." Carol had made no journal entries over the program, citing her busy schedule, and had not done personal evaluations and had not been present for the group evaluation, but she did complete a written program evaluation. Carol hoped her schedule would allow her to return in September as a p.33 senior docent. Ingrid An immigrant to Canada, Ingrid was an art teacher in her native country for nine years, teaching ages 12 to 17. In addition to her teaching, she was also a volunteer docent in a large art museum. She found her previous museum work supportive to her teaching, providing material support as well as additional art knowledge and communication techniques for a range of ages. She was active in drawing, painting and ceramics. Ingrid described art galleries as "good places for art education, for gaining art experience, and to get inspiration." She saw the role of the docent as a "link between the audience and the art works and/or audience," and the primary purposes of a tour for children as "art appreciation and first hand experience." Her purpose in becoming a docent was "to talk with children and share . . . art experience and knowledge with others." She also joined the docent program as a way to "know more about the arts in Vancouver" and to find out more about Emily Carr. She did not describe herself as a regular gallery-goer, and usually went to the city gallery as a special destination with visitors. Our first interview was only two weeks after class began, so our conversation centered around her experiences that brought her to volunteer for the docent training program. Ingrid's own experience as a young child did not include gallery visits. She was required to visit the art museum as a secondary student and to write a report of the visit. She described that experience as "just a job." From her own art-making and teaching experience which evolved from arts electives in secondary school, she recognized the power of seeing art first hand. Ingrid also felt strongly about the expressive power of art: "sometimes it's not so easy for children to speak out their feelings but they can do it when they draw and when they paint." She saw art appreciation as not just appreciating the artist's work "but also to appreciate everything around us, in the world, in nature. p.34 Because from art you gain knowledge about colour, pattern and texture. . . . It will make you change when you appreciate everything. So it can encourage the student to have a positive attitude to everything." She was receptive to the idea of keeping a journal or a diary, although a little concerned with her ability to write comprehensively in English. I assured her she could write in whatever language was comfortable, that the intention was to aid her in sorting out the information and experiences of the training program. Our second interview was in mid-January, on the same day as the readiness test. Ingrid said she had made some journal notes about her response to the training. The most important thing so far was working with the open-ended questioning technique and learning "more about what to answer." She contrasted this method (response that asks further questions, such as "what do you see that makes you say that?," rather than validating with "right" or "good") with her previous experience as a teacher where "teaching was very traditional and the student is expected to be very passive and the teacher will just talk, talk, talk." She recognized that her experience as a teacher and as a docent "helped build my confidence . . . being in front of children and using eye contact Even though I'm not so confident with the content, I show with my eye contact that I am confident." Ingrid's favourite part of the tour, and "the most challenging," was the pairing of Carr's Scorned as Timber. Beloved of the Sky and Yuxweluptun's Red Man Watching White Man Trying to Fix Hole in Sky. "During shadowing, it was apparent that Lawrence Paul was the most interesting . . . very near to their place of development." Her interest was with the older children (grades six and seven) "because they know more about the world, they think more deeply. Younger children see things more simply, the conversation is simpler." She perceived language as her biggest problem, but felt supported by the p.35 gallery: "sometimes the children use words or expressions, slang, that I don't understand. The people here are so encouraging, I dare to make mistakes, its a good chance to learn." She summed up her experiences so far by saying "I think it's a great learning environment. At first I thought it was too demanding, but I see it prepares you very systematically." At this point, she had only done one integration so was looking forward to more sessions and "the opportunity to meet more kids." Ingrid had begun university courses since becoming a volunteer at the gallery, and it seemed that school requirements were creating some conflict with her ability to make all docent training sessions. She worked part-time as well. I observed Ingrid give a tour in mid-April to a group of grade six/seven students. There were a couple of girls within the group who were determined to be "too-cool" for the presentation; they remained aloof, except for the occasions they made loud remarks about Ingrid's pronunciation. Ingrid remained composed and focused throughout the tour, although some stops were more successful than others. Her tour was less question oriented, perhaps because it became obvious that these older students were not easily engaged by such an approach. Our third interview took place in late June at the end of training and touring. The months of integrating and touring between January and June had brought some changes to Ingrid's outlook. She felt that familiarity with the material and weekly experience in presenting it reduced the problem of language. When asked if the students were generally cooperative, Ingrid responded: "Most of them were. I think the material was quite interesting to them, and its a very different environment, being in the museum and not the classroom. You must expect them to behave in a different way. . . . you are not a teacher, but just a friend from the museum to introduce something to them, then many of their attitudes can be acceptable." Ingrid had also expanded her expectations regarding the different age groups: "I think both of them [older and p.36 younger students] are interesting to me now. . . . At first I thought the older kids may have a better understanding of the work we talk about . . . but actually the small kids do have their opinions about the work that make the tour interesting, that make the talking interesting." When asked about the rewards of the training, Ingrid spoke of an improvement in communication skills, new knowledge about Canadian culture through learning about Emily Carr, an "opening of the door to First Nations art," and an enriched understanding about docents and docent programs. She described challenges as the transitions within the tour, arousing interest in difficult groups ("because not every child is interested in the work, or not every group is so patient, or enthusiastic about that work") and the discussion of Lawrence Paul's work ("how can they get to the point the artist wants to talk about, how can they get beyond the picture? It's quite challenging to talk about something contemporary.") She felt that her skills as an E S L speaker became problematic when discussing concepts in depth. Ingrid felt the training gave "a good basis to start." She thought there should have been more opportunity for shadowing and integration. The re-hang of the exhibit due to the removal of the Lawrence Paul material was disconcerting and Ingrid felt that if the gallery knew of the upcoming changes that the gallery, and therefore the docents, should have been better prepared. She found the resulting re-working of the tour which meant that the three mini-groups were confined to the main Carr gallery was difficult and distracting. As for the introduction of the script in late January, Ingrid felt it was helpful "in some structuring of the questions," but she used it "not so . much to stick to the material they gave us, but as a basis for me to build up my own materials." She also recognized the need for the students to have some common experience within their tour-groups: "if they are going to have work that will be carried on at school, then it is better to have control of the quantity and quality of the docent's p.37 conversation." Asked about her greatest pleasure in the docent work, Ingrid commented, "It gave me more ideas, and helped me to know how children react to a certain work, or some part of some picture. . . . [the children] have something in common, but they do have their individuality." She particularly recalled a student carrying a discussion of sound from an Emily Carr painting, Forest, to a colourful Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun painting: "The colours gave her such a feeling that it seemed some sound was coming from the painting. I think it is quite interesting because they can link the different pictures together . . . not just the visual but the audio." She talked further about the contrast between Carr and Yuxweluptun, "I remember the first time I walked around the gallery, I went into the Emily Carr room first, then the Lawrence Paul, and maybe because of the colour of the wall, it made me feel like this room (Emily Carr) is quite gloomy, quite old, and because Carr's work is also greens and browns, the duller colours, when you compare with the bright colours of Lawrence Paul, you feel something quite lively, and you also feel it is quite contemporary. The difference is quite obvious." Ingrid felt that over the course of the program, her ideas of art and gallery education didn't really change, although she appreciated learning a new, more open style of talking about art. When asked if she was comfortable with the designation of "teacher," Ingrid replied, "No. "Teacher" for me is something more . . . it also represents the authority of the role. As a docent, I'm sharing my joy in looking at artwork. A docent and the students or viewers are equal." Ingrid had kept some journal notes, had participated in the group evaluation, and had submitted a written program evaluation. She felt she would return as a senior docent in September if her schedule allowed. Susan Susan had been born in Canada but had spent most of her adult life in p.38 Africa and Asia. She was from a family of artists, and "from a very young age we were surrounded by art, paintings and music." While she had spent time in art galleries and museums as a visitor, her interest, in working in a gallery environment came from her recent experience of being a gallery owner in Southeast Asia. In her gallery, she displayed local art (mostly textiles) and her own work, largely collage-based. She welcomed guests of all ages into her gallery to discuss the art work or to learn the process of collage. Susan had experience in teaching studio art to both children and adults. She had also been a volunteer in many different settings. Susan's view of art reflected the influence of her Baha'i religion: "for us, music and art have a spiritual dimension. . . . I don't believe in art just for the sake of art. I believe that art has an invisible purpose beyond itself." She offered her definition of art and artists: I would say that if the definition of art is a way of expression, I would say that every single human being is an artist. But for me, I would describe an artist (as someone) who has the potential to raise spiritual aspirations. I would say there are few artists in the world. . . . For me, art has to have an eternal sense of beauty. Our first interview was held in mid-October. We spent most of the interview discussing Susan's experience as an artist, a teacher and a gallery owner and her first impressions of the docent training program. She joined the docent program because "I like to be connected with artists and anything connected to the arts" and it gave her an opportunity to be in an art environment in a new city. Susan perceived the role of a docent as someone who shared "the spirit and beauty of art" with their audience. Her most memorable experiences of teaching art to children were those times of working together, "a kind of osmosis," when "you are not the group and the teacher, but . . . you are progressing together. . . . The excitement is there, the creativity, stress, sometimes success, sometimes failure, but you feel like you're building something p.39 together." Susan described herself as "flexible," referring to her previous experience in her own gallery and the different visitors she had there: "I have a different approach for everybody. Some are very reserved, some are very open . . . . It's like a dancing situation. Depending on the steps of your partner, you will try to follow, to move with him. For me this is the perfect example of teaching, it's like dancing." She recognized the challenges of being a good docent, "to be interesting, to know about your exhibition, to keep the audience captive, not to be boring and not to speak too much or too little," adding, "I think we should always be ready to learn. We should always be students." She looked forward to the training and touring, expressing anticipation of the demands of the position, being "not routine, not the same thing twice." Susan commented that as a docent, it was difficult to "present something you don't like or believe in." She was comfortable with Emily Carr, but in viewing a temporary exhibit, she expressed her discomfort with the material and her probable withdrawal if required to present a tour of that exhibit. Susan said she would consider keeping a journal, probably once touring had begun. Our second interview was in early February. Susan had completed her shadowing and had done three integrations. I asked her if the change from her personal gallery to the public art gallery was a difficult one. She felt constrained in the art gallery - "you have a master plan; you have a little place for your own personal interpretation, but you have to respect their plan. You don't have much freedom." She recognized the need for some consistency in the tour, but would have been happier "if we had more room for the personality of each docent." She was pleased that the gallery seemed to respond to the docents' concerns to date and had modified the tour, saying that "I think we have to be flexible so I don't mind the changes in the program." Susan hadn't made any journal entries, but "kept her feelings in her head." p.40 She commented on her experiences: I think what is difficult in the beginning is the time issue, it's very difficult to get used to rushing all the time. And you have a goal to achieve and you have a strategy, but you have to look natural at the same time. You have to combine all those things together and feel relaxed in front of the group. So we have to simplify the problem, maybe the content is too heavy and it becomes like a lecture. It is very difficult . . . . For me, the perfect situation would be for them to say, 'you have five paintings to present, you can present them the way that you like' . . . . As long as we know what we should not say, I think we will be able to be more original. I find it a little c dull sometimes, everyone is saying the same thing . . . . More place for originality, personality. It's not always comfortable to wear the shoes of another person. I think the hat can be the same hat, but a different pair of shoes. Susan's previous teaching positions had allowed her to design her own programming, and she felt that had given her a creative perspective, and a need to "trust your imagination." She felt spontaneity was an important quality for a docent, otherwise "you had better record a nice voice and have a tape and just chuck it in and people can listen to that." Susan did feel she was learning, although she couldn't articulate "the implications." She had learned a lot about Emily Carr and felt that the new knowledge enhanced her enjoyment of the paintings. She felt positive about the training because she enjoyed "the ambiance of being involved in art." She felt the docent was like a "magician," always with a new audience and the need for "a very quick understanding of what kind of group they have." Susan found excitement interacting with the children, "the surprise element . . . tomorrow I have a group, but I don't know the group. So it's a challenge . . . as long as I feel I get something from the gallery, I will go. When it becomes stagnant, I will stop going." Susan commented on the integration evaluations, "sometimes you receive [the evaluation] a week later and you lost track of your mistake. So I wish after p . 4 1 the [tour] presentation, we can have five minutes with the [animateur]." In a class meeting, Susan also expressed the opinion that she would prefer more in-class discussion of the training and the tour rather than filling out a program evaluation. On the testing, she felt that rather than a single presentation, the docents-in-training should be evaluated over a longer period, because everyone has "a bad day." As well, she perceived the docent's role as "so personal and so different. How can you say this one was better than this one? . . . [the testjcannot be a one-shot deal." She was looking forward to touring on her own, because "someone is always looking at us with a pencil, and you feel you are on the spot. You are not relaxed." She reflected that it was important "to fly on your own wings." Susan thought her previous experience with children helped her to notice "the red lights," to see when they are bored or tired or needed discipline. So far, she had found the children in her tours "joyful." Her biggest problem was her fluency in English, and how pronunciation sometimes led to misunderstanding. Susan did not foresee making any journal entries. She was very busy, and "keeping a journal is not something I have a feeling for. I remember exactly how I feel." I observed Susan give a tour in late April to a group of energetic kindergarten/ grade one children. She tried to keep to the script, but it didn't catch this group at all. Susan was unable to engage them throughout the tour. Once lost, it seemed a huge task to regain their attention. In discussing the tour afterwards, Susan, and the other docent who joined us, commented on the difficulties within the tour for these younger ages, and felt that the kindergarten/grade one classes should be the domain of people particularly interested in working with that age, and working with different tour elements. Susan completed the training and toured until June, but was unavailable for a final interview. She did comment at one point that there were too many ' p.42 changes to the program and that it was "taking too much time and energy." Ursula Ursula had a B.A. in Business Administration, and worked part-time in property management. Her interest in art began in university. She recalls her university art history teacher as "dull," but studying with a friend was a "really wonderful experience. Ever since then we've shared that interest." Art galleries have become a "first objective" when traveling. Her own art work involved jewelry making but she was thinking of "delving into watercolours . . . not so much to become a great artist, but to understand (art) a little better." She had some volunteer experience but nothing that demanded the same degree of commitment as the docent training program. In the first questionnaire, Ursula described the role of an art gallery, besides conservation and preservation, as one of "promotion of art appreciation through exhibitions and educational programs." The docent's role was to facilitate that promotion through dialogue with the public and to "give children a taste of the world of art and hopefully motivate them to explore or create art." Ursula's reason's for becoming a docent were her feelings that "art is a very integral part of life and . . . I (want to) be able to stimulate others in its appreciation." In our first interview, she went on to describe in length a childhood remembrance that motivated her adult involvement in the arts - a school oriented presentation by the local symphony where they demonstrated all the instruments in the orchestra. And this was a big, big event for me. It really, really moved me. And I often think that when you're a child you can experience things in a way that you'll never experience them as an adult . . . . And therefore, I think these tours that the children are having are very, very powerful. I don't think you can even imagine the impact they can have. Our first interview was early December, so Ursula had more time than most of the participants to form some views of the experience. For Ursula, the most p.43 outstanding aspect of the program to date was the exposure to Emily Carr. She described her initial "limited response" to dealing with Carr ("I thought she was depressing"), but that changed as "the more I read about her, the more I am just amazed. . . . I'm kind of shocked at myself. I just can't get enough." She felt the dialogue technique in presenting the tours worked well - "it's really effective because it's moving quickly and I think the kids have to have that . . . . They're in a new environment and their attention span is going to be really short." But she saw some difficulties with the question and answer technique, "your questions can become so disjointed, you have to be leading somewhere. . . . I (am) quite challenged by that, how to put the questions in some logical order." She recognized the place for both structure and flexibility within the tour methodology: "because we're trying to teach them something, there's a goal to each of the tours and it's our purpose to stick to that. But the nice thing is that we have a lot of freedom within it." Ursula felt that the tours should be a learning experience but "in essence, the most important thing is that they're moved." Ursula valued her experience as a mother, and extensive experience with children and youth, as an asset to her position as a docent. She described herself as being comfortable with children and "really liking" them. She found herself occasionally surprised at their responses in the gallery: what I didn't expect was the amazing things they perceive when they look at the art, and this is a real bonus. I can't get rid of this idea in my mind that kids can't see as much as we can as adults and yet . . . they're way ahead of us. It's quite mind-boggling. Ursula commented in this first interview about "how political " things were at the gallery, referring to a perceived "revisionist" treatment of Emily Carr, and the juxtaposition of Carr with Yuxweluptun as "insulting on a certain level . . . they're trying so hard to pull a commonalty there. I mean on a certain level it's an obvious, similar topic, similar theme, but really, that's not enough." She felt that Yuxweluptun's work was so "one-sided, political. He just wants to get his p.44 message out there." In response to my suggestion that art history is full of artists communicating political concerns, Ursula said "that's a good point, I'll think about it." When asked if she would keep a journal, Ursula was non-committal; "I can try. I'm not very good at these kind of things. I'm not that regimented." Responding to my encouragement that a journal might help her work through some of the problem areas we had been discussing, Ursula commented: "I think I'll just ignore them, that's my way of dealing with it." Our second interview was in February, while Ursula was still integrating and after the new script had been introduced. Ursula indicated a generally positive response to the script (and accompanying changes) and gave the staff credit for realizing aspects of the previous tour model weren't working and changing them. She was now concerned with the script's emphasis on "current events" in Carr and Yuxweluptun, and still felt "troubled" by the pairing. She felt she would leave out those parts that she was uncomfortable with, noting the need for flexibility within the program. She felt that the "goals," while giving structure, were "a bit awkward, kind of like trying to stuff something into a small box." Ursula's other concerns were moments when she felt she gave inadequate responses to children's comments, and working with kindergartners ("there's not much coming back from them"). She was looking forward to touring on her own, as she felt "a little inhibited" being evaluated during integration, and she anticipated "personalizing" the tour a bit. Ursula felt she was learning a lot about dealing with children of different ages. She described a tour with a kindergarten group that was difficult to stimulate, "you already got the sense that they had seen it all, and done it all, and this wasn't thrilling enough." Her perceptions were that certain elements of the tour were a "stretch" for the younger students. She commented on speaking to a senior docent who, a number of years ago, had been given quite an extensive p.45 historical background when training to tour the Emily Carr exhibit. Ursula felt that this was a lack in the current training, and that she has had to do this learning on her own and "that part of the program is really disappointing." Ursula responded quite strongly to the post-exam "letting go" of two of the volunteers and the group discussion that followed. She felt the docent-coordinator lost credibility over the incident and that a "different mood" now prevailed over the group. She noticed the word "teacher" used more frequently to describe the docents, and said, "I sort of thought of myself more as connected to the gallery, showing off the gallery. . . . Now all of a sudden we are trying to teach them to complement what they are learning at school and whatever their curriculum is in relation to Emily Carr." In mid-April I observed Ursula touring a group of grade seven students: The teacher warned the docents that some of the students might be difficult to focus on the material. The docents and animateur had a quick conference and decided as a group that it was more important to involve the students in dialogue, and let the goals and strategies come second. Ursula seemed comfortable with her group (all girls) and her pacing was very relaxed, leaving lots of opportunity for the students to interact. She used the students' clothing as a demonstration of contrast (which she then got them to transfer to the Carr painting, The Raven). Her questioning at Carr and Yuxweluptun seemed a little more leading. Overall, she evoked interested response to both the paintings and some of the Emily Carr props (photographs and facsimile paintbox). Ursula's schedule did not allow us time for a "de-briefing" after the tour. M y third interview with Ursula was in mid-June when she had completed her training. She reported that the tours had become "tedious," a quality she associated with using the script: "with the script, it becomes very routine, and there's no room really for creativity." She also commented on the last change to the tour and the added difficulty of all three segments of the tour being held in p.46 the main gallery. She felt this was poor planning on the, part of the programming staff and/or a lack of coordination with the exhibit staff. Ursula's evaluation at the end of the program was, "I think the thrill is gone, (and) that's where the challenge lies. You know, just doing it to get it over with. I think all the incidents that occurred during the training just created a really bad atmosphere, and that's why I'll be happy to move on." She recognized that her enthusiasms "really waned" after the test in January when the two trainees were failed. She called the incident "deceptive" and continued, "I know we may be just mere volunteers, but you treat people with honesty and respect." She felt that the changes to the program illustrated that the staff was disorganized, "they obviously didn't have one set idea about things; they were all changing from week to week." Ursula felt the integration evaluations were not particularly helpful, and she "realized how the whole experience made me so tense about being observed." She did not. fill in any self-evaluations or the final program evaluation, but participated in the group evaluation in. May. She commented that the class materials were good, but that they needed more "follow-up." She did not make any journal entries. Ursula had reasons for staying with the program: the people (fellow docents), the touring process ("even if I'm not thrilled with the tour itself"), and the contact with the children ("very exciting, personally satisfying"). She felt "unclear" about the docent's relationship to the gallery at large. Ursula discussed her awareness of two big personal shifts, one having to do with her opinion of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun and the other in relation to the mixing of politics and art. She said about Yuxweluptun: I really disliked him at first. I laughed at him a little. And I have to say I was swayed to appreciate him and be sympathetic to his message. I'm quite surprised that it happened, but it did. . . maybe talking about him so much, looking at (his work) so much. Oh, I know why it happened . . . I took my p.47 daughters to the gallery and one of them fell in love with him . . . and I thought, if my daughter is so taken with him, then maybe I should take another look. . . . I still do find some of the colours too bright (but) I know he wants to shock, get your attention. Ursula also expressed a new recognition of the place of politics in art. Touring the visiting contemporary Asian exhibit in the company of a senior docent, Ursula became very "moved" and found herself looking at art differently: I realize now, one really has to probe . . . I see now that art is a real reflection of the times. That the artist is a messenger, reacting to our environment, and is often, of course, ahead of his/her time. I never realized how political art is. . . . It seems that it frankly needs to be, maybe not needs to be, but it's maybe one of the reason's for it. Part of Ursula's realization of the symbiotic nature of art and politics was the accompanying need to "know what was going on at the time." This led her to postulate that the docent's role should include giving the students information that "they can't get elsewhere." She added, "I'm basically moving away from the aesthetic appeal of the painting. This is surprising me in terms of my own development. And I feel that (the children) should be given the same, or as much information as possible." She felt that most children could absorb more information, that she has been "amazed" at the level of understanding and focus of some of her students. Yet, her final word on the purpose for a tour for children was: "It would be to be exposed, to have the thrill, to know that this is an original, something they've seen copies of before . . . and now they're seeing the real thing. . . . I think it should be a magical day for them." In her closing remarks, Ursula spoke of the challenge of "staying on track" when interacting with the children: "Children always want to interject with questions; they get excited, they interrupt; and some of their answers are right off the wall sometimes." She was comfortable with the designation of "teacher," saying, "I don't know if it really matters, because the children come with a contact person; we're the ones taking them around, and they know it's p.48 temporary." She was pleased to have "learned a great deal in terms of how to deal with a group and how to speak to a group, how to bring out the children." She was thinking about returning in the Fall. Yvonne Yvonne worked part-time in a demanding environment and attended university part-time, working towards her B.A., taking a number of courses in art history. She recalled "obligatory" visits to local museums as a child, and particularly remembered an elementary school trip to the Seattle Art Museum to see the King Tut exhibit: "that's when I first thought, how amazing! And the first time I got my own acquisitions: my little postcard and souvenir." As an adult she makes a "concerted effort" to get to shows at local museums and galleries, crediting European trips, and visiting "60 galleries in-a-day kind of thing," as "enforcing" the importance of art. Yvonne described that importance as "a slowly growing appreciation of something that just makes me really happy." She makes simple jewelry for herself and for friends. Her volunteer experience was extensive, mostly in the health field. Yvonne initially described the role of an art gallery as a promoter of public education and an avenue "for display of art that inspires and motivates discussion and emotion." She perceived the role of the docent as one who "promotes the mandate of the gallery. To provide art education in a way that encourages exploration, discussion and freedom of expression." Yvonne's purpose in volunteering for the docent training was "to learn how to give tours, to work in a gallery behind the scenes and be able to spend time in a gallery setting." In our first interview in early October, Yvonne expanded on her reasons for wanting to be a docent: "I want to hear what they [the general public] have to say . . . I think everyone is quite visual . . . . Art appreciation opens up your life to other realms that are out there . . . the world looks different." When asked what previous experience might help her to become a successful docent, Yvonne p.49 commented that she really didn't feel comfortable with children and she had never done any kind of art education. She was concerned about her lack of experience with children, because she felt children would sense her discomfort, but she thought her determination not to be patronizing would be an asset. She hoped her own education in art and her experience as a student would give her something to build on. Yvonne felt confident in her ability to communicate "what the student needs to know" because of some educational sessions with trainees at her work place. Her "maybe ten years" of volunteer experience prepared her to make a commitment to the training and "treat it with as much respect as going to work." After three class sessions, Yvonne was very positive about the experience. She was impressed with both the docent coordinator and one of the animateurs, feeling that she might like to be in either position in the future, commenting that "this opens a whole other realm, maybe art education is the way to go." Yvonne already kept a personal journal so was quite agreeable to the idea of keeping a journal of her training experience. She recognized the reflexive character of journals: "lots of things come out especially if you don't edit, if you don't think you're writing for an audience. You're more honest. . . y o u can find out a lot about yourself." Our next interview was in early February after two integrations, and with her first full tour scheduled in a week. Yvonne commented about how her attitude towards children had changed, "a total 180 degree change." At this point, Yvonne felt she was learning "about the process of teaching, and how much work goes into something that seems so simple. But, the major thing that stands out most for me is working with children . . . they're really quite great." She reported her two integrating experiences as very positive and "really affected me." She forgot to keep a journal about her gallery experiences, but noted that "there is some gallery stuff in my private journal, which would be about fear on that first p.50 integration" - fear about her abi l i ty to gain rapport with the students. She felt that now "a lot of the stage fright is gone." She described going into the gallery on her own time and l o o k i n g at the paintings h ighl ighted i n the tour, " try ing to look at (them) from a fresh perspective, and see what I would think i f someone asked me those questions. . . . I real ized that I haven't real ly g iven them a real look as paintings, I've just thought of them as goals and objectives." To further prepare for her first independent tour, she talked about br inging i n friends and g i v i n g them the tour, as i f they were c h i l d r e n . One of the evaluation comments Y v o n n e received f rom the animateur was to "just go with the kids and let them lead you, don't try to get across your points so much." She was grappling with the challenge "to be able to present the goals, and yet s t i l l let (the students) lead you where they want to go. I think it comes with being comfortable with your material , and then somehow you can creatively . . . s t i l l present the same point." She discussed particular problem areas: "The Totems . . . it seems l ike we're a l l confused on what to present. The movement tableaus are c h a l l e n g i n g . A l s o , h e l p i n g c h i l d r e n articulate the differences they see between Lawrence P a u l and E m i l y Carr without actually lecturing them on the environment." Y v o n n e mused on the class experience to date: I think there is structure there, and there are the materials, and there's a lot of support i n terms of classes and lectures, the integrations and evaluations, but much more of it , I think, comes from yourself , how much you really want to put i n . . . . Y o u can get a l l the lectures you want, and a l l the reading materials . . . but you have to synthesize what you learn in class wi th the written materials, and that comes from inside. She went on to describe the process she was using to prepare for her first tour, preparing her o w n script for each part, r e v i e w i n g the k inds of questions she heard whi le shadowing and integrating, and t i m i n g herself. B u t she reminded herself "not to get uptight i f I forget a point, and not to rely on those p.51 points too much." In early April, I observed Yvonne touring a group of six kindergarten/grade one students. Yvonne's first station was the Scorned as Timber . . . (Carr) and the Red Man Watching White Man . . . (Yuxweluptun) pairing. One student segregated himself from the group by sitting in one of the chairs in the center of the gallery, making it clear he didn't want to participate. Yvonne was welcoming and very positive throughout the tour, but many of her questions were leading rather than open, and the group was never totally attentive. This seemed to unsettle Yvonne as the tour progressed, but she kept smiling and trying to get the children involved. Her timing of each segment was good. In our brief talk afterwards, she recognized that she "lost them," but wasn't sure why. She said she was very tired (this was the time just after term papers and during final exams at university) and imagined this had affected her presentation. She was positive nonetheless, recalling how many of the tours she had given so far were "great," and realizing that "some tours are like that," and wondering if it was the age group. I next interviewed Yvonne late in July, many weeks after her final tour. In reviewing points of the previous interview, she reported that "Lawrence Paul and Emily Carr actually turned out to be my favourite station. I usually wanted to start with that, because it was my strongest point." The biggest challenge Yvonne reported as "trying to feel comfortable disciplining (the students), saying 'O.K., now you need to listen.' I wasn't sure what I could say and what I couldn't say." She remembered the tour I observed and recognized that she should have been a little more authoritative and gotten the one student to sit with the group. She commented on the complexity of getting comfortable in such a short time with new groups of students: "I think it just depends on the group of kids you have and your comfort level dealing with certain groups, the dynamics." p.52 Overall, Yvonne felt positive about the experience, happy to have learned some communication concepts, commenting, I think the most important thing would be to become so comfortable with the material that it would become second nature, so I can actually concentrate on the kids and watch them and see what they are thinking. And still be able to get the point across, but not so rigidly. When you aren't comfortable with the material, you only, have one way to say it. She felt her strength was being open to the students' ideas and that she "learned a lot from them. There are times I feel really good about the rapport that I have with a group, and that's what makes me really happy at the end of a tour. That's the best part." Yvonne reflected on her own role as a student and how that affected the way she learned within the docent training program. She pointed to shared requirements of self-discipline and problem-solving, and also her awareness from her own student experience, of "how boring it can be, to listen to somebody go on in a monotone, and have no interest in what they're talking about." She hadn't found the introduction of the script in late January as unsettling, but rather, "it made it a lot clearer . . . . They knew what you needed to cover, and it was easier to be creative with that kind of script." The final change to the tour gave her more time in certain places but "it seemed to change the atmosphere a little and the whole, physical layout of the tour. I found the groups were colliding more, there was less of a chance of just being you and your group." Overall, she seemed to have rolled with the changes. She did fill out "four or five" evaluations," more for the docent coordinator "because I did my own evaluations for myself." More formal journal entries declined to negligible, "it was more of an internal thing." Juggling the other demands of her life (work, school, and an accident in the family) became a concern. Yvonne found herself "tired and overwhelmed," "feeling like a robot," and not enjoying it. She thought, "why am I doing this if p.53 I'm not doing it with any passion?" She was carefully considering her schedule for September, wanting to continue the docenting, but cautious about over-committing herself again. Yvonne commented about the social atmosphere of the program as comfortable but not "vital." She spoke about the behind-the-scenes politics and "not so-behind-the-scene," and how she tried to keep a distance from it. In particular, she mentioned the discordance over the test, saying, "I didn't agree with their methods, but I understood why it was done. . . . I think you have to feel very safe as a volunteer; I felt a little like a guppy in a shark tank." She further discussed how her ideas about art galleries have changed: "My innocence is gone. I realize how political it can be, how its really a work situation, not this ideal place that nurtures and worships art. It's a job. And the job is to get people to look at your exhibits." Yvonne was comfortable with the designation of "teacher" but thought it was a reciprocal situation where she "learned as much as I taught, and I continue to learn with each new., group." She realized that she'd learned to look at art differently than in her art history classes, looking at it critically from the perspective of how to talk about it to different audiences. The biggest effect of the program was developing her enthusiasm about art education as a probable direction for her future studies. Zoe Zoe had been an elementary teacher for nine years, specializing in music and gifted students. Her extensive volunteer experience included previous experience as a docent in a history museum. She didn't recall visiting museums or galleries as a child or a university student. She thought having some leisure time as an adult, and having her own children, drew her to museums, it was a completely new thing for me . . . . I think once I got started, I realized what a lack I had in my life. And certainly in terms of my own p.54 teaching. . . . I think that's why I feel so strongly that it should be a part of the school curriculum to at least introduce children (to art galleries). She described herself now as a regular gallery visitor, particularly in conjunction with traveling, "sometimes we've done trips around going to galleries." Her exposure to so many art venues over time, seeing guides with both adults and children, noticing "how much more meaningful an experience could be with some sort of direction," made her regret her own lack of earlier museum encounters and inspired her to volunteer as a docent. Zoe perceived the role of the art gallery as providing "an avenue" for community enjoyment of, and education in, art. She described the role of the docent as a "facilitator" for appreciation and understanding of art, and as someone who could "spark" children's interest in art. She would consider her experience as a docent as "successful" if, "I could get across to children or adults that . . . it was their place as well, that they were entitled to be there, that they (could) keep coming back. That's all I'm looking for." Zoe saw art as "a real source of, not just beautiful things, but the whole creative process that anyone can get involved in . . . something that is kind of unifying for people." We had our first interview in early October, too early for Zoe to have a very deep impression of the program. She felt the gallery was trying to make the volunteers feel comfortable,, "very gently leading people into this." She spoke of her previous docent experience. as being "far more structured." Feeling confident in her teaching skills, Zoe was looking forward to more content, "I'd like to learn more about art and how to discuss it." She eventually expressed some concern about the slow pace of the program, while acknowledging the variables the gallery was working with: everyone comes in at a different point and has different notions about what's going to happen and what should happen, and I'm really trying not to be too judgmental because having been on the other side of training people, you have to think about the group as a whole. I guess my p.55 expectation is that it not be a waste of time and so I think I need things to move along quickly or try to learn something new each time. That's a hard thing to do to make everyone feel comfortable, pushed a little bit but not too much. Yet pull the group together. Zoe was very receptive to the idea of a journal as long as it wasn't for "public view." Our second interview took place in late January and she commented that since the previous interview, she felt she had "gained a bit of knowledge in quite a short time." Zoe confirmed she had made some journal entries, mostly about "how I would draw up this whole plan of training docents." She was happy with the reading material presented, and had done some related reading on her own, but wanted more discussion of materials and issues. She recognized her desire for "art content, background." She felt , we (have) had a very long time of training. And I don't feel that it's always been optimal learning/teaching time. . . . One of the good things to come out of such a long time is that people start to relax, feel more comfortable in the setting, but, and I don't think I'm alone with this, a bit of a level of frustration, (a feeling of) let's get on with it. Not necessarily be thrown out into the gallery, but maybe make it a little more content oriented, and discuss more issues, not make it quite so practice oriented. Zoe agreed that practice was a necessary component but felt it should be better supervised; rather than the docents learning from one another (the trainee group were divided into small groups for practice touring), she thought the addition of senior docent assistants would be helpful. She compared the experience to the other docent training program she had been through where the practice time was "well spent, and I don't always feel that here." She thought shadowing and integrating were good ideas in theory, but in practice were dependent on the quality of the animateur setting the role model. As well, integration should be accompanied by more than an evaluation on paper, "to be helpful it needs to be more than a little tick (on evaluation form)." She also felt p.56 that a trainee's first few full tours should be accompanied by a senior docent as some support and "to pick up the slack" if the novice docent faltered. Zoe's integration evaluations had helped her recognize a particular problem that was rooted in her teaching experience: definitely the teacher's voice, rather than the guide . . . when students answer questions, my immediate response is to give them positive strokes and that apparently is not the philosophy. And I can see what they say, that it makes (it seem) like there's a right answer, so that's something I really have to watch. She recognized her teaching experience contributed to her level of comfort with children and some understanding of their development, "if you haven't had any experience, you might not know there is a whole range of ways to get the kids involved and how to handle the difficult ones. And probably in 45 minutes, you aren't going to reach them all." Zoe felt that sometimes the interactive format of the tour contributed to an uneven pace, and a question of "how much they come away with." She thought the technique was probably more effective with younger students ("I think with older students you can give them more information, have them think about that, and ask questions") but hadn't yet worked with grades six and seven. On the other hand, she restated her initial goal of wanting the students to feel comfortable and welcome in the gallery, to feel it was their space, and that "maybe they'll come away with two new things they might use in looking at art . If that happened, I'd feel O.K., I've done my job. Maybe my expectations aren't so terribly high but I think that's probably the most you can expect." Zoe spoke about her problem with The Totems stop, commenting that bringing out the larger issues of why Carr was involved in recording a "vanishing culture" was too complex for the time allowed and for the younger groups. "I'm not really comfortable with how that is all dealt with." She also pointed to the pairing of Carr and Yuxweluptun as a concern, saying she liked the p.57 stop but it highlighted Yuxweluptun - "they love the Lawrence Paul, a huge, dramatic painting, and I would think a lot of kids would come away thinking that Emily was boring . . . . And I don't think that's the goal, but I think it's one of the outcomes." Zoe saw her personal problems as those of timing, and her "desire to incorporate something into the program, but still fulfill the expectations of the art gallery . . . how to do that in a responsible manner." She expressed some uncertainty about the freedom to be creative with the tour script, "in light of recent [group] evaluation problems" (the January test). She had even considered dropping out because of her shaken trust in "the organization" as a result of the test outcomes, but was willing to see the training through "depending on how things are resolved." Early in April I observed Zoe leading a group of grade one students, a smaller group of a class I described in my notes as an energetic, multi-ethnic group. Zoe was very at ease with the children, expressing a lot of interest in them, engaging in a constant dialogue but moving right through the strategies and goals. She linked the children to the photos of Carr by asking if they had photo albums at home. The timing of the stations turned out to be a problem, not just Zoe's, but each of the docents. Zoe was unable to meet after the tour. Our third interview was in mid-July. We reviewed her concerns expressed in the January interview, five months and many tours previous. Zoe's journal entries helped her recall her thoughts. We talked about her concerns about her "teacher's voice." She found herself still struggling with her inclination towards reinforcing student's responses with "yes" or "good," commenting further, "I think from the Art Gallery's point of view, they want maybe more openness, maybe a teacher tries to wrap things up more . . . . I'm not quite sure what they don't want." We talked about timing issues, were they still a problem? "Yes. I think it's p.58 hard because the children are bringing up points that they're interested in and sometimes that's going to take longer . . . that's a dilemma between meeting the needs of the students at the time and meeting what the gallery wants to get across." She felt that timing issues were also a problem for the tour rotation as a whole and needed to be dealt with by the tour team. She thought tour team-work had been disrupted by the exhibit changes in May, and by the Spring integration of new trainees into the tours. ' -'• Zoe said that when she became comfortable with the material she found that she "wasn't trying to lead the kids into absolutely all those points," and "I use [the script] as a guide but I don't find I can stick to it." She credited Feldman's approach as providing her with an "organized" way to work with an interactive method: "if the kids decided they were going off on a tangent about one part of the painting, you could then move back to Feldman, and on to the next level." She thought that the tour needed re-working with "more movement and variety" for the primary students, and needed to be "a little jazzier" for the older students. She proposed that "people who feel comfortable with grades (6-7) sign up for that age group . . . . I think its a hard thing for a lot of people to feel comfortable with a whole range of ages." The biggest challenge for Zoe was "to really spark (the children's) interest, and be responsive to what it is they find interesting about a piece of work or about an artist." And the children's response was Zoe's biggest pleasure, "if they seem to enjoy it, if they're sparked to learn more or come back to the gallery, or Jry some things themselves." She was sorry there wasn't opportunity to follow-up in the classroom, "it would be wonderful to have a little bit of an on-going relationship." Since we had last talked, Zoe had changed her opinion of the Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun material: I think it was a good way of having a contemporary artist featured as well. p.59 Because, I would say all of the children seemed to relate much more to that art work. We were featuring Emily Carr, so I guess in some ways, it took away from her, but it maintained the children's interest. . . . So I certainly changed my view of his work. The more I saw it, the more I came to enjoy it. When asked how she had dealt with the changes over the program, Zoe said she didn't think the changes themselves were necessarily a bad thing, but that it seemed expectations of the trainees "changed as time went along . . . I got the feeling that there wasn't a clear plan of what they wanted from the docents." She spoke strongly about her perceptions of the training and testing process: I think they need to work on what the expectations are, how they are going to lead the docents into that area, and make it much more clearly laid out. And if different teaching or guiding styles are not appreciated, then they should make that clear. But initially we were encouraged to try things, find our own style, and, in fact, that was not at all what was wanted. It was much more, in terms of passing the test, it was repeat the script. I also think the testing process tested nothing except could you perform in front of a group of adults . . . and it wasn't could you respond to. children. Zoe made use of the personal evaluation forms (usually when she got home) and thought the exercise was very valuable "because it made people respond, to focus, to write down what you thought didn't work." She thinks maybe the evaluation forms prompted her to carry her thoughts further in the journal. She also thought that a de-briefing of the docent team after the tour would be equally beneficial, "maybe if we are going to work together as a team, we should evaluate as a team." Zoe was positive about her relationship to the other trainees, mentioning a good working relationship. She enjoyed the social aspect of the program, but didn't think it- was what attracted all the participants - "I don't know anybody who came to the docent training program looking for it to be a sorority or fraternity . . . . If that's what people were looking for, I'd be very surprised, I think they would go some place else." Zoe also pointed out that "there were some problems p.60 (which) in some ways brought us together as a group." She continued, Initially, it was the feeling that we were volunteering and the Art Gallery appreciated the time that we spent and the effort, and integrity with which we were coming to the program. And then, through the (test) process, I think we felt we were not valued, and we were not treated with respect. I . think our relationship to the Art Gallery has really changed. For some people I think it was absolutely devastating. As a whole, the docent training changed Zoe's ways of looking at art, making her realize that there was more to an art work than its immediate appeal - "for me it really helps if I have a docent or (some text) about that painting" in order to develop a "more informed" response. Her training experience also made her more aware that: Whether it's taking the docents or the students into the Gallery, you have to take them where they are right now, and try to find what speaks to them. So it's going to be very different for every person and every group . . . . That's why I would be leery of thinking we could have a planned script; that is only going to work for a very limited number. The same thing is true of sparking the interest of the docents. Zoe was thinking about returning to the Gallery in the Fall, feeling that she had put a lot of time into training and would "give it another year," but felt that if she wasn't valued she wouldn't continue. She looked forward to continuing "her own understanding of art and learning new skills." Summary The participants who volunteered for this study were a diverse group, ranging in age from early 20's to late 40's, with varying degrees of experience with art, museum environments, teaching and volunteering. My final participants were all female. In our interviews, each participant described occasions of rewards and frustrations, commenting on their expectations, their responsibilities to the Gallery and to the school children. These interviews were the basis for the data analysis that follows. Chapter 5 - Data Analys is p.61 Introduction On three occasions, over a nine month period, interviews with the docent trainees provided me with six perspectives on many elements of their training experience. Marshall and Rossman (1995) describe data analysis as that process that identifies "salient themes, recurring ideas or language, and patterns of belief that link people and settings together" (p. 114). I re-read the interviews of the six docent trainees numerous times and combed them for common themes. I also reviewed the questions and assumptions that led me to this study. I sifted out, or "highlighted" (Wolcott, 1994), the topics addressed most energetically by the interviewees and those which shed light on the novice docent experience. This process produced the salient themes of motivation, challenges, and reflective practice. I have added one more theme, issues, which summarizes the tensions expressed by the trainees towards their relationship to the Gallery, and was an expectation of my study anticipated by the participants. This analysis may repeat or expand on interview excerpts found in the preceding interview summaries. In some cases, new material has been introduced. Motivation The docent-coordinator described the work of the docents as "structured, demanding, (and) involves a lot of responsibility, a lot of sense of place and purpose, which is not always the case for some volunteer jobs." As volunteers, most of these docents-in-training were fitting this large commitment into already busy lives. All participants had moments of doubt ("why am I doing this if I'm not doing it with any passion?," "the thrill is gone"), frustration ("no room for creativity") and challenge. What attracted them to the program, and what were the intangible rewards that held them there through some demanding times? p.62 When asked on the entry questionnaire why they would like to be a docent, the replies ranged from the opportunity to interact with children and the public to being "surrounded by art and challenge," and to making "connections and gaining work experience in a gallery context." In my first interview I probed for deeper responses, asking participants to talk about their personal feelings about the importance of art and engaging a larger audience in talking about art. Their responses reflect the motivation of these volunteers, and their understanding -through experience, intuition, thoughtfulness - of the importance of art to themselves and others. Passion. Each participant referred to strong feelings about art; the sentiment of "passion" surfaced more than once. These passionate feelings were further articulated as notions about art and reasons to engage with art in a public venue. Carol described art as a vehicle to "open people's minds . . . to a critical awareness;" both Ingrid and Yvonne saw "art appreciation" as a way to see the world differently, Ingrid commenting that "it can encourage the student to have a positive attitude to everything." Ingrid was also enthusiastic about the "power of seeing art first hand," and the capacity of art-making to help children express themselves. Susan spoke of art's potential for raising "spiritual aspirations." Ursula, remembering her exposure as an elementary student to the symphony, spoke of the potential impact of the arts on children as "very, very powerful." Zoe commented on the "unifying" aspect of the creative process, and "felt strongly" that children should be introduced to art, regretting her own lack of exposure during her school years. Purpose. In our second interview, Zoe reiterated an earlier statement, "my own goal is that they (the students) feel positive about coming to an art gallery, that they'll feel comfortable in that setting, that they won't feel intimidated, that they'll feel it's part of their space and they're certainly welcome to be there." This goal remained constant from the first interview through the p.63 last. Other trainees voiced similar goals: that the experience should be "magical," should "move" the children, should "make them want to come back." Two of the participants in my study were recent arrivals to Canada. They both spoke of responding to the advertisement for volunteers because they felt it was a good opportunity to get to know a new place. Both had been art educators in other settings, and both had some experience with touring art, so they were generally comfortable with the environment and wanted to see how a different gallery and its volunteer program functioned. There was also a curiosity about Emily Carr: "I wonder why Emily Carr is so important to the art gallery here to exhibit her alone?" Rewards. Throughout my interviews, I asked what element of the program gave each participant the most pleasure. There were uncomplicated responses reflecting initial motivation: "being involved with people . . . also being in an educational setting," and, "I like to be in the art gallery . . . it's the ambiance of being involved with art." Carol knew from previous experience that she "got a lot of energy" from interacting with children and art. A number of the participants indicated their unexpected pleasure in learning more about Emily Carr, and gleaning a richer understanding of her life and work. Watching the children and eliciting positive responses to the art pieces was a big reward voiced by many ("I didn't expect the amazing things [children] perceive when they look at art, and this is a real bonus"), even those who had not anticipated working with children. Yvonne, who had expressed some concern about her lack of experience with children, commented, "the major thing that stands out most for me is working with children . . . they're not this foreign element, they're really quite great." Yvonne was also enthused about the reciprocal nature of some of her tours, feeling that she often learned from the students and "there are times I feel really good about the rapport that I have with a group . . . . That's the best part." Ingrid describes moving from one room and one Emily Carr painting p.64 where the exercise was to imagine yourself in the forest Carr depicted, listening and looking ("what do you hear and see?") to the next room where a large, colourful Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun painting was hung next to an Emily Carr: "and then we went into the next room, for the next stop by the Lawrence Paul and one girl said, 'in this picture I can hear some sound, the sound is quite interesting or happy.' The colours gave her such a feeling that (it seemed) the sound was coming from the painting." Carol relates a story of an ESL student, standing awe-struck in front of another Lawrence Paul: "this little boy, he was ESL, he couldn't speak English, he went up to it and just went "gasp!" - he was having this incredible experience." Susan talks about the "excitement " and "suspense" of working with different groups: "as long as I feel I get something from the gallery, I will go. When it becomes stagnant, I will stop going. It's the process of learning." Volunteers don't reap the most obvious of rewards for their efforts - the paycheque. More than any other worker, they must find their reward within the work itself. Their motivation to continue is derived from this intrinsic reward, which is likely to be very personal. As this training progressed, each participant found herself at some moment weighing her motivation and the value of sometimes unexpected rewards against this significant and challenging commitment. Challenges The interviewees described transitory concerns (program's pace, student discipline, arousing interest in difficult groups, "staying on track", tour transitions) as well as persistent challenges. Some identified these more pervasive challenges as personal (keeping life "consistent" with touring schedule; Zoe's "teacher's voice;" English as a second language, doing some "unlearning"). Some perceived departmental and program based problems which translated into challenges (changing expectations, lack of clarity, "superficial" p.65 tour material, not enough art content, not enough practice). Commonly expressed challenges grouped most noticeably around, and across, two particular topics: the script, and the Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun/Emily Carr pairing. Script. The trainees were presented with two written drafts of the "model tour" early in the training program, the content adapted to two different age groups (K-2, 3-7). These models described each segment of the tour by "artwork", "goal", and "strategy" and indicated the timing allowed for each stop. Structure for the tours was acknowledged by most of the interviewees as helpful, and even desirable as a starting point, important for avoiding misrepresentation of the artwork, and useful for any classroom follow-up. While recognizing the necessity for some structure, most participants were prepared to use the model as "a basis for me to build my own materials;" or, as one interviewee observed, "it's important to know the goals of the tour but to have freedom within it." A session on "questioning strategies," presented in the first weeks of the training program, described the overarching objective of the school tours as a "child-centered" and "art-focused" experience. The trainees were instructed in building a dialogue with the students using questions "layered" from the concrete to the abstract - a process characterized by Edmund Feldman (1967) as a sequence moving from description, through analysis, interpretation, and information to a conclusion or synthesis. The in-class presentation was supported by written material on effective questioning and touring techniques and paired with a presentation, and handouts, on the elements and principles of design, as well as a descriptive art vocabulary list. The tour itself was modeled in the gallery by an animateur. For Ingrid, the questioning strategies presented a challenge, and a welcomed change, from the traditional teacher role she had learned where "the question was meant to lead to a particular answer" and "the student is expected to be very passive." Ursula saw the value of the questioning strategy ("They're in a p.66 new environment and their attention span is going to be very short. . . . I can't think of a better way."), but also as a challenge: "when you're using the technique of question and answer, your questions can become so disjointed; you have to be leading somewhere." Changes to the tour "model" into a more detailed "script" (which added suggested "phraseology," directions, "focus of questioning," and "key concepts addressed in student answers" in addition to the learning objectives and teaching strategies) mid-way in the training caused some confusion over how much freedom the trainees had to be creative, although there was still encouragement from the docent coordinator to "elaborate," "rework it to suit yourself." Reconciling the objectives laid out in the script with the actual experience of leading groups of students within . a closely timed rotation in an "art-centered, student-focused" manner provoked many comments in the second and third interviews. Carol found it a "relief" to be counseled by one of the animateurs to worry less about getting "an agenda across but just leave it with the kids . . . . Not to try to herd them like cattle through ideas," adding, "I don't get much out of that either." She felt that sometimes the "meaning of the tour is a little too controlled . . . . And I think art is bigger than that." Carol found a January class handout titled Touring Ethics. Issues and Strategies (which offered, among other suggestions, "catch phrases," ways to extend students' responses, how to deal with one's own point of view, "feelings" about paintings and "fluffy questions") generally more helpful. than the script. Ursula thought that the goals at times were "a bit awkward, kind of like trying to stuff something into a small box," and eventually felt that the tours were becoming "tedious," "very routine." Another trainee thought there was a danger of "repeating those sentences like an old song." Susan expressed the need for some freedom for personal interpretation this way, "It's like you say we are going to Vancouver, there are many roads to reach Vancouver, but the goal is to reach the place. . . . We don't change the goal, but we p.67 change the way we reach it." Yvonne described the challenge as . "to be able to present the goals, and yet still let (the students) lead you where they want to go" and "not have such a strict way of doing things." Zoe commented during our second interview that without some structure tours sometimes lagged, and she questioned "how much (the students) come away with" during a tour based solely on the students' responses. In the third interview, she expressed some uncertainty about what was wanted from the trainees, but found that she didn't try to "lead the kids into absolutely all those points," and used the script as a "guide." For each trainee the challenges of presenting the tour was very individual, and fluctuated between momentary frustrations and deeper concerns, in some cases alleviated through experience. Zoe, having earlier pointed to her "desire to incorporate something into the program, but still fulfill the expectations of the art gallery," perhaps summed up the trainees' common "dilemma" after some tour experience: "meeting the needs of the students at the time, and what the gallery wants to get across," noting the importance of taking students, and docents, "where they are right now, and trying to find what speaks to them." Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun and Emily Carr. The temporary inclusion of the contemporary work of First Nations artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun within the galleries customarily dedicated to changing works of' Emily Carr was a curator's decision. One of the objectives of the juxtaposition was to seed in the viewer's mind a "dialogue" about ways (past and present) of looking at the British Columbian landscape through culturally based interpretation. Further works of Yuxweluptun stood on their own in adjacent galleries. The trainees were given written material on Yuxweluptun and a curator's tour of his work in the Carr gallery and his solo exhibition. One of the stops of the school tour was in front of a work from each artist -Carr's Scorned as Timber. Beloved of the Sky and Yuxweluptun's Red Man p.68 Watching White Man Trying to Fix Hole in Sky [see appendix H & I]. In the model tour, this stop's goals were working with the elements of content, mood, colour and design, and introducing "the change from deep forest to open sky paintings (Carr). Compare Carr to Paul to show how she addresses issues of contemporary concern." The "strategy" suggested questions concerned with the details of each painting, and looking at "what is the same and what is the difference" between them, with an emphasis on how both artists represented their concerns about the environment. The script's directive was more detailed, with added emphasis on engaging the students in describing the paintings ("specific and clear descriptions"), and the "current events" each artist was addressing in their time. In the first two interviews, participants expressed a strong response to this pairing. Ursula thought the juxtaposition was "insulting on a certain level . . . they're trying so hard to pull a commonality there." She also expressed a discomfort with Yuxweluptun's work ("it's so one-sided, political"). Zoe commented on how attracted to Red Man Watching . . '. the children were, causing the focus to shift from Emily Carr: "they love the Lawrence Paul, a huge dramatic painting, and I would think a lot of kids would come away thinking Emily was boring." Carol thought the comparison was difficult because the two were "really different artists, so it feels a little artificial trying to get to the point." Ingrid valued the pairing, noting "the contrast leads to more involvement with the children," that Yuxweluptun's style ("nearer to their place of development") drew the children's attention, and "if they're interested, they'll learn more." She later commented that talking about contemporary work was quite challenging (how to get "beyond the picture?"). Yvonne pinpointed the stop as a trouble spot for her, citing the challenge of "helping children articulate the differences they see between Lawrence Paul and Emily Carr without actually lecturing them on the e n v i r o n m e n t . " In the third interviews the overall response showed a marked shift from p.69 discomfort to enthusiasm, at the least for the dynamics the comparison brought to the tour. It was in the third interview that the novice docents described the children "gravitating" to the Yuxweluptun work, including the incidents described above of "hearing" the colours, and the impact on the ESL student. Ursula, for one, expressed a much more empathetic response in this last interview: "I have to say I was swayed to appreciate (Yuxweluptun) and be sympathetic to his message. I'm quite surprised that it happened but it did. . . . I still do find some of the colours too bright (but) I know he wants to shock, get your attention." Yvonne reported that the Carr-Yuxweluptun stop became her "favorite," "there's so much to talk about." Zoe also had changed her opinion of the inclusion of Yuxweluptun's work in the tour: "The more I saw it, the more I came to enjoy it." She commented that "all of the children seemed to relate much more to that art work. . . . it maintained the children's interest . . . . I was disappointed when it came down." Grappling with these challenges and resolving them to some degree was a process of problem solving, a process marked by the adaptation of new skills or a gaining of self awareness. This process is considered under the heading of reflective practice. Reflective Practice In my interviews I continually inquired, "what have you learned?." Some answers were explicit and some were hidden in indirect commentary. I needed criteria to establish a concept of "learning" and a means to sort out the more complex responses. Journal keeping. Duthie (1990) and Wolins, Spires and Silverman (1986) suggest the field of teacher education is instructive for docent trainers. Within that literature, the reoccurring discussion of reflective practice for teachers and pre-service teachers through journal writing was a process I thought offered a useful tool for recording and accessing learning experiences. Bressler (1993) p.70 states "the integration of affect and cognition is manifested in the reflective act in which teachers are engaged in describing and interpreting their realities" (p. 33). She refers further to reflectiveness as an "attempt to capture implicit understandings through articulate, disciplined writing" (p.33). Bressler uses a study of student teachers to illustrate the value of reflective practice initiated through the use of required journal entries. The journal assignment mandated close attention to the particulars, the flavor, and the ambiance of experience. It required the cultivation of memory and the effort of interpretation as well as active presence in the situations of teaching as they are lived. The journals forced students to participate fully in their teaching (if only to ensure that they will have something about which to write), and encouraged them to establish reflective habits of mind. The student/teachers came to see their teaching as a process open to evaluation which is a form of inquiry, (p.37) The reflective process as described by Bressler contains key elements of what I would define as a learning experience - an awareness of the "ambiance of experience," a conscious "cultivation of memory and effort of interpretation," an "active presence," full participation," and recognition of "teaching as a process . . . a form of inquiry." Britzman (1991) observes that "a fundamental assumption is . . . that examined life is educative" (p. 53). These concepts resonated for me personally, because I recognized my own process of learning to be a guide within them. Reflection, or experiential examination, was a primary focus for me within this study. Writing in a journal seemed the most fruitful way of capturing personal reflection or reflexivity. It was a method I had used irregularly to record and inform my own guide practice. In a collection of essays, Emig (1983) connects writing, teaching, learning and thinking. She believes that "writing through its inherent reinforcing cycle involving hand, eye, and brain marks a uniquely powerful multi-representational mode for learning" (p. 126). She also echoes Bressler by describing "successful learning" as "engaged, committed, and p.71 personal" (p. 127). In my initial interviews with my participants, we discussed journal keeping as a personal activity I didn't expect them to share directly with me, but as a tool to gather their fresh responses and thoughts, and a jumping off place for succeeding interviews. I told my interviewees that I was interested in exploring the connections between the personal and the formal experience of learning to be a docent, and that I thought the journal would also be helpful to them as a clarifying devise. All participants agreed to the idea of journal keeping, but only three of them wrote irregularly, one of whom already kept a journal. These three were also the three participants who mentioned occasionally using. the tour evaluation forms which were intended as a post-tour self-evaluation and improvement tool. One participant connected the use of the gallery's (self) evaluations with using her own journal: "I think it was very helpful, it made people respond, to focus, to write it down. . . . Maybe that's what prompted me to make notes in the journal about some of the things I wasn't that pleased with, how they'd gone with the children. . . a very useful tool." The reason given for not keeping a journal was primarily time, but also: "For me, I just recall the good moments in my mind . . . . If I have good moments, I'll remember. If I have bad moments, I'll remember too. Keeping a journal is not something I have a feeling for. I remember exactly how I feel." Learning Experiences. I turned to asking about the "mental notes" people were taking about their experience. To sort out learning experiences, I looked for instances of reflection that indicated a change or examination of personal perspective, and a consciousness of problem solving - an "engaged, committed and personal" experience. Almost all participants commented on learning more about Emily Carr, learning more about speaking in public and learning more about working with children, some of which I sorted as "rewards." p.72 Engaged and personal learning resulted from negotiation with the challenges previously introduced. Carol was one who spoke of working with the questioning strategies and "getting away from validating, like 'good answer' or something like that . . . and it's affected the other areas of my life, and made me more conscious of dealing with children." Early in the course she struggled with the pace of the class and a perceived "hostility" to new or different ideas by some members. Part of her response was to examine herself, her needs to be an initiator and organizer, and consider that maybe this was a good exercise for her: "maybe I have to deal with that. I think it's a combination of things, being accepting of other's levels and not being selfish about it." She spoke of "the whole process of watching other people, and watching yourself, and taking it really slow . . . . I've had to do some unlearning and become conscious of the habits I have. I can see in other people that they're kind of stuck in habits, and I become aware of not doing that myself." She recognized that her university background had exposed her to new ideas and she learned to "either wake up or don't bother." She reflected on the docent coordinator's stance that the gallery was different than the university, that "it's a public institution, and (they) do a different thing, a kind of melding. When she said that it meant a lot to me, and I went home and really thought about it. About the different roles and how it is interesting the way a gallery is between those places." In our last interview she indicated her continued reflection about the public role of the gallery, and its responsibility to "incorporate different communities," remarking that "sometimes it works and sometimes I don't think it does. Sometimes they try to please too many people." Ingrid was also affected by working with the questioning strategies, stating "I've learned more about what to answer . . . . Here we use active learning to build on the student's answers. I have to try and eliminate building on my own expected answer. I have to change the way I think to how the student's think." p.73 She felt that the practice of this technique helped her to deal with the children individually, and taught her "to be more considerate of cultural differences." She saw that "maybe due to their background, education, family or peers, they have different ideas in viewing a picture . . . they have something in common, but they do have their individuality." Ingrid began the program with a preference for the older students who might "have a better understanding of the work" but found herself appreciating the younger students: "actually the small kids do have their opinions about the work that make the tour interesting, that make the talking interesting." Susan expressed very strong feelings about the challenges of the experience, particularly in contrast with the freedom she had in her own gallery and her previous art-centred work. In the two interviews we had she indicated a constant awareness of the issue of balancing gallery needs for consistency with personal needs for creativity but did not convey a sense of resolution. Her difficulties with the tour I observed possibly stemmed in part from that irresolution. Susan was quite insightful in her metaphorical descriptions of the docent as dancer ("depending on the steps of your partner, you will try to follow, to move with him") and as magician (needing quick understanding of the group, and a "bag of tricks") and the script as "a skeleton," a map, and a changeable "pair of shoes." She described the experience of the docent as being "not routine, not the same thing twice. It has a surprise element that involves all your potential (for) improvisation and management." Susan felt that she was learning but she couldn't articulate "the implications" beyond an enriched enjoyment of Emily Carr and a general sense of "how a gallery functions in North America." Nonetheless, she spoke strongly more than once that it was "the learning process" that kept her coming back, that "when it becomes stagnant, I will stop going." Ursula presented the biggest contrast in learning experiences. While her enthusiasm for being an intermediary between art and children remained firm, p.74 she expressed difficulty with resolving issues dealing with the script, with "the politics" (both in-house, and in the art) and the role of the docent. She was reticent about explicitly working through problems ("I think I'll just ignore them, that's my way of dealing with it.") yet proved very resourceful in the tour I observed and, in the third interview, described two very big changes in her outlook. In that last interview she expressed "surprise" that her attitude towards Yuxweluptun had changed - while she still didn't appreciate all his aesthetics, she did accept the politics of his art. This change seemed to have come from various sources: her own work with students in the gallery, her daughter's enthusiasm for Yuxweluptun's work, and indirectly through a guided tour of a traveling contemporary exhibit from Asia. That experience apparently sparked enormous insight, leading Ursula to comment: "One thing I have learned is that, I guess in the past I've looked at just the aesthetics of art, and the whole political message, I (now) realize how important that is . . . . I realize now, one really has to probe . . . I see now that art is a real reflection of the times. . . . This is surprising to me in terms of my own development." This realization returned her to the dilemma of the purpose of a tour for students, the balancing of the experiential and the informational: should students be given "as much information as possible," "information they can't get elsewhere" or should they "be exposed, have the thrill, to know this is an original . . . . it should be a magical day for them?" Zoe also expressed surprise at her change of opinion towards Yuxweluptun's work. She spoke about the importance of having a contemporary artist within the tour, noting that "all the children seemed to relate much more to that art work." This benefit came to outweigh her initial concerns with the distraction from Emily Carr. She acknowledged: "I certainly changed my view of his work. The more I saw it, the more I came to enjoy it. That was quite an interesting thing for me to progress through. In fact, I was disappointed when it came down." Like Ursula, Zoe commented on her new awareness of the p.75 importance of an "informed" response to art; for her, more information helped bridge an initial distance. Her biggest challenge had been unlearning her "teacher's voice;" for Zoe working with the questioning strategy was a process of examination and engagement. Zoe thought her concept of teaching (within the gallery) had changed over the course of the training program to one where "you have to take them where they are right now, and try to find what speaks to them. So it's going to be very different for every person and every group . . . a planned script is only going to work for a very limited number." Yvonne had no experience teaching or working with children so her docent training experience exposed her to both. Her response was positive, she felt she was "learning about the process of teaching and how much work goes into something that seems so simple. But the major thing that stands out most for me is working with children . . . they're really quite great." She reported spending extra time in the galleries and working with the tour material to prepare herself for her tours. She too struggled with the dilemma of script and a student-centred tour, but realized that "being comfortable with your material" helped to be creative about working with it. She commented that lectures and reading material were a supportive structure, "but much more of it, I think, comes from yourself, (and) how much you really want to put in" and, "when you aren't comfortable with the material, you have only one way to say it." She recognized that her current experience as a university student lent the "self-discipline," the ability to "problem solve," and a sensitivity to "boring" listeners, to her work as a docent trainee. In our last interview she commented on a new ability to look at art "differently or talk about it differently than I did with art history courses." Issues Some challenges were thought to be beyond reasonable expectations - these became issues. Issues affected the attitude of the participants toward their job and the Gallery. the bulk of response in this category reflects particular, perhaps p.76 singular, circumstances within the time frame of this training session. Nonetheless, a holistic report must include this aspect of the participant's experience, and several participants spoke directly to me about including their concerns. As in the other categories of analysis, I have endeavored to use the words of the participants. The majority of participants expressed a sense of "instability" or "insecurity" around two specific causes. The first was the evaluative test in January, when two trainees were asked not to return to the training program; the second was the changes to the tour - both the introduction of the script in January, and the physical reconfiguring of the tour space in May. The Director of Programming attended the class session following the January test where "shock" was expressed at the lack of warning that some trainees might in fact be "failed" as a result of a poor evaluation. The trainees argued for an entry screening process and clearer evaluation criteria, and "follow-up" opportunities for the two trainees who did not pass the evaluation. Some trainees felt it was very important that the evaluation be done under a relaxed atmosphere; that the possibility of failing might limit some trainees' ability to "learn and grow." In later interviews, some participants voiced their opinion that the evaluation should be a process, rather than a one-time event, that everyone had "bad days," and the docent role was "so personal. . . . How can you say this one was better than that one?" One participant commented that "volunteers have to be given the same respect as paid staff." At the meeting, appreciation was expressed for the group as a supportive structure and as "family." While disappointment, even anger, was expressed at this meeting, it went beyond the interactions between the class and their trainer, who was described as "patient," "supportive," "encouraging," and "respectful." The group re-stabilized in the following months (two more trainees withdrew) and got on with their work, but individual trainees carried a changed p.77 attitude toward the Gallery, perceived as embodied in the programming staff as a whole. One participant commented on feeling "expendable," others felt there was a lack of trust of the trainees. One participant said she felt "deceived" by the test incident. The same participant commented on her waning enthusiasm, while others commented on Gallery politics. The importance of feeling "safe," "respected," and "valued" as volunteers was a point made by more than one participant. Changes to the tour, through the new script in January, and the removal of the Yuxweluptun paintings in May, were accepted but viewed as problematic, sometimes by the same trainee. "Poor planning," and "disorganization" were comments that derived from dealing with major changes. "Changing expectations" was seen as an overarching problem. Summary The docent-trainees entered the program with strong feelings about the power of art to affect people's lives, and an enthusiasm for participating with others in the experience of seeing art first-hand. Their personal goals included learning art historical context, working with children and a wider public, and learning more about the art gallery. The trainees over-riding goal for the school tours were that they be a memorable experience that would encourage the children to return to the gallery. Their nine-month training program included classroom discussion and workshop sessions; handouts on touring and communicating methodologies; background material on Emily Carr and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun; model tours, shadowing, integration and full tour opportunities. Each participant described moments of challenge, rewards and reflection. The two areas that embodied all of these characteristics were working with a detailed script and working with a juxtaposition of the two artists, Carr and Yuxweluptun. All of the participants shared with me insightful experiences that qualify p.78 under Emig's (1983) ruler of "successful learning" - experience that is engaged, committed and personal. Trainees talked of training-based experiences that affected their lives beyond the gallery and beyond the particulars of the school tour. They examined personal habits and expectations and surprised themselves with new insights. They reflected on their roles and the role of the art gallery. I was disappointed that journal keeping was not a success, but one participant commented at "graduation" that she felt my involvement in the program - observing, interviewing - was itself an encouragement for reflection. And those participants who reviewed their previous interviews before our meetings indicated the personal usefulness of that exercise. p.79 Chapter 6 - Discussion Introduction If we accept Duthie's (1990) view that the docent is "the first audience of the gallery's education program" (p. 2) and "in some ways, the most active, responsive audience that galleries have" (p. 72), what does this insider-based account of a docent-training program tell us? What do these individuals' motivation, description of challenges and reflective practice contribute to the broader field of museum and gallery education and interpretation? An underlying dynamic recorded here resides in the conflict of the Gallery's school program goals of "clear educational objectives" and "consistent content and structure" with the deep-felt goals of the docents and their experiences in the gallery. This conflict was particularly manifested in the trainees' efforts to reconcile the script with the child-and art-centred questioning strategies - the described "dilemma between meeting the needs of the students at the time and meeting what the gallery wants to get across." This site-specific dissonance can be extrapolated as an embodiment of the dilemma of many museum/gallery education and docent-training programs: how to harmonize the goals of a museum's educational objectives with the goals of those who implement those objectives in the museum's public space? A second, and complementary, dissonance meriting attention was revealed in this study - that of the role of the docent. The scope of the role appeared to be defined differently by the gallery and by the trainees. The volunteer element of the role contributes to the dissonance. The training of docents and other interpreters is implicated in resolving these dilemmas. Museum Education Reviewed What are the parameters of museum education? The overview of the p.80 history of museum education reveals that the question is as old as museums themselves and remains a topic of vigorous discussion within the field, and within each institution. In the last decades the championing of the museum as forum has put even greater emphasis on the museum as a place for people rather than a palace for objects. In North America, influential reports such as the American Association of Museums' Museums for a New Century (1984) and Excellence and Equity: Education and the Public Dimension of Museums (1992), have pushed the concept of education in museums to the forefront. Economic pressures and the lure of educational grants has influenced museums to be accountable in terms of formal education practice within their school programs. Alongside the movement to align educational experience within museums and galleries with school curriculum and clear educational objectives, some professionals champion the educational experience as very different from the classroom. These advocates of non-formal (or informal) education within object-based, non-classroom settings point to the power of objects to elicit "resonant" responses of a "breadth of vision and insight that can hardly be obtained in any other way" (Weller, 1985, p. 147). As one of the participants in this study observed while commenting on attempting to meet the script's objectives, "art is bigger than that." Discussion Working with school groups, the docent trainees found themselves juggling with these very issues of formal educational objectives and the visual, personal impact of the object. They were instructed to encompass both, and given the tools of a script and student/art-centered questioning techniques. Valuing some structure, the trainees nevertheless voiced frustrations centered around finding a working resolution to this challenge within the tour structure. While the trainees appreciated the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about the artists and works in the tour, public speaking, and art vocabulary, the bulk of p.81 their engaged learning centered around the experience of working with the questioning strategies, the needs and responses of different age groups, exposure to a contemporary, "political" artist, and finding ways to "really spark [the students'] interest, and be responsive to what it is they find interesting about a piece of work." The rewards for these volunteer docents-in-training were occasions of "rapport," "letting the students lead," "learning from the students," "the ambiance of being involved with art." When museum professionals who favour the informal educational experience describe that activity, they use words like "relevant," "multidimensional," "motivating, stimulating, exciting," to describe a "a richness of experience. Not at all like learning facts, taking a test, receiving a grade" (McLean, 1995, p. 10). In the interviews, the trainees used similar language to describe their personal experiences with art and their more rewarding experiences touring the students. These novice docents valued informed viewing, but still felt the most important experience for the children was to gain a sense of "belonging" in the gallery and a means of looking and talking about art so they would want to come back, and that it be a "magical" day. One trainee commented that "maybe they'll come away with two new things they might use in looking at art. If that happened, I'd feel O.K., I've done my job." This outlook echoes professionals like Roberts (1997) who recognize potential within museums for personal "empowerment" - "the authorization of alternative modes of knowing and speaking besides the information-based methods traditionally employed" (p. 131). The participant who noticed herself viewing the exhibit as goals and objectives rather than "as paintings" offers a caution towards over-structuring museum school tours. If the parameters of education in museums is undergoing examination and change, then the role and training of those who comprise the public face of the educative experience should also be examined. p . 8 2 Role of the Docent In Newsome and Silver's volume on The Art Museum as Educator (1978), the authors of the chapter on museum volunteers observe: Docents are neither ersatz art historians nor art teachers and that museum staff attempts to mold them into one or the other account for much of the frustration among volunteers and professionals alike . . . . Not all volunteers are gifted teachers, and in spite of a museum's best efforts to train them, it is not clear that all volunteers can become as professional as museums and the subject matter should demand, (p. 245) The intention of this particular training program was neither to make art historians nor professional teachers from these volunteers, but the reality was that the trainees found themselves walking boundaries of both professions. The trainees were frequently addressed as "teachers" within the program. I observed the trainees dealing with the ambiguities of whether the gallery was a classroom and their role in that setting. An implicit question ran through this study: what is a docent, what does a docent do? "Implicit" because although it was addressed on various occasions by both the docent coordinator and the docent trainees themselves, I sensed that their visions never quite met. The answer to these questions would vary between institutions, but it seems important to arrive at an answer that pleases all the parties involved: the institution, the docent coordinator and the docents themselves. Clarifying the role and scope of the novice docent is addressed in the final chapter. The Volunteer An important factor in this study was the volunteer status of the participants. While the nature of the role for which they trained was inherently complex, an added complication was that they were also non-staff members and fundamentally non-professionals in the field of art or museum education. It contributed to regarding the more formal requirements of the training too p.83 casually (irregular engagement with class handouts, discussion, self-evaluation and attendance), and a detrimental sense of insecurity and expendability. Conversely, the volunteer element required the Gallery education staff to be particularly sensitive, and not rigorously demanding, of the trainees. This proved to be a difficult balance. It also confirms observations about what Chadwick and Hooper-Greenhill (1985) call the "basic conflict between 'professionalism' and 'accountability,'" noted earlier in chapter two. Volunteers in cultural institutions are an important community link. Their presence "affirms in a personal way" the value of the institution to the individual and the individual to the institution (Pinkston, 1993) as well as its role as a people-centred, publicly accountable venue (Chadwick & Hooper-Greenhill, 1985). Chadwick and Hooper-Greenhill note that in "many North American museums, training the volunteer is seen as an important contribution to the role of the museum in community education, within the conceptual framework of life-long learning" (p. 178). Utilizing the volunteer has always been of practical value to institutions as a way to extend public contact within limited budgets. Economic considerations continue to be relevant under the current atmosphere of fiscal restraint. The socio-economic homogeneity of the volunteer has been questioned in the past (McCoy, 1989; Newsom & Silver, 1978), but that profile seems to be changing. The group studied here, while all women, was a mix of ages, cultures and experiences. The docent coordinator, spoke to me about the importance of attracting people from the general public: "with volunteers you get this huge range of background experience that can add so much both to the group dynamics of the docents and to an individual's tour." One of the participants put it another way: "I think different people have different ways of presenting the art to the children. They bring with them different feelings or experiences about art or art works." p.84 The use of the volunteer in cultural institutions is both philosophically and economically supported. This study of volunteer docents confirms the complex nature of the volunteer docent's position while recognizing the value of a diverse, volunteer population as a resource for people-centered activities within the museum milieu. These non-professionals were highly motivated, they engaged in active learning to varying degrees, and were rewarded with personal insights and unique experiences that contributed to their growth as docents. Their individual experiences attest to the power of the gallery-centred experience. While affirming the value of the volunteer to the museum, this study also points to difficulties in placing the volunteer directly into demanding positions that may test their abilities and commitment. p.85 C h a p t e r 7- Impl icat ions and Recommendat ions Implications and Recommendations from the Study This study was initiated by an interest in what attracted and held people to positions of interpretation within museums and galleries, whether as guides, hosts, docents, presenters or other designation. As the study converged on volunteers in a docent training program at an art gallery, the questions that guided my research were: Why are you here? What problems arise for you and how do you resolve them? What tools do you bring? What are you learning? What are the personal satisfactions of the job? These questions were focused and extended through a series of three interviews with six participants over a nine month training course and were enriched through observation. The results of this study highlight the challenges and rewards for the volunteer, novice docent. It points to the need to harmonize the role and training, of novice guides with the educational philosophy of the institution. It indicates that a top-down process is problematic. The trainees interviewed over the course of this study demonstrated the personal nature of their motivation and commitment to the lengthy process of becoming an art gallery docent. They exhibited engagement, problem solving and empowerment, defined as "authorization of alternative means of knowing and speaking" (Roberts, 1997). They were stimulated and rewarded by the unexpected outcomes of their tours. These are experiences valued under the informal, model of museum education. The shift to validating personal meaning-making under the umbrella of museum education has application to the role and training of the novice docent. This study points to the importance of working with the subjectivities of novice docents or guides. Docents are often spoken of as teachers within their institutions and p.86 within museum education literature. The designation of the novice docent as "teacher" is misplaced and confusing to a diverse group of volunteers who anticipate themselves being gallery hosts, facilitators, or "just a friend." Docents have also been referred to as "para-professionals." This is perhaps appropriate for the experienced docent, but the beginning docent has a complex task to learn within a complex environment, aspects of both which are largely unfamiliar. This study recommends a different analogy for the novice docent - the novice as visitor. • Recommendation: The Novice Docent as Visitor. Hooper-Greenville (1995) observes that "people come to museums carrying with them the rest of their lives, their own reasons for visiting, and their prior experience" (p.5). This is an apt description of the individuals who participated in the docent training program. Some had previous experience that involved art and children, some did not. Some remembered formative museum or gallery experiences, some did not. They had personal motivations. These experiences provided a link into the gallery environment and a way of sifting through the training experience. These were the lens through which the participants viewed and judged the challenges of the program. Sometimes this was useful, sometimes it was detrimental. Education staff need a means to acknowledge these points of entry and a means to engage the trainees to go beyond them. The current trend in discussing museum education/learning/experience is to validate the visitor's histories and motivations, to regard the visitor as an "active inquirer." Wolins (1990) observes that when visitors are "viewed as knowledge-seekers, they become active participants in the knowledge getting process" (p. 72). Two of the study participants recognized that their learning was not so much dependent on the class materials and presentations but upon their own involvement in the process; another felt it was as important to work with the p.87 docents, as well as the students, where "they are right now." Treating the trainee initially as a visitor, a knowledge-seeker and carrier, would help to ease the newcomer into the museum/gallery environment and offer a bridge into the position of docent or guide. Paul (in Stout, 1993) observes that "the only thinking students can use is their own thinking . . . and that unless and until their own thinking is genuinely engaged the process of learning cannot begin" (p.35). Franklin (in Newsom & Silver, 1978) states that "the docent must find ways to make art personally meaningful to the audience by raising questions prompted by her own enthusiasms and sensitivities, and in turn, by eliciting and affirming those of the public" (p. 246). Acknowledgment of the docent-trainee's subjectivities and utilizing them to engage the trainee in looking at their own motivations, the museum context, ways of looking at art or objects, and communication patterns, for example, would lay a self-activated foundation on which more applied and tour-specific knowledge could be laid. Other ways of looking and talking about art could be offered in discussion with fellow trainees and gallery staff. Trainees could be engaged in Feldman's layered method of viewing art. The use of "The Entry Point Approach," a structure derived from Gardner's Project Zero and utilized in Project Muse (Museums Uniting with Schools in Education), offers another approach to active learning within the museum environment. These methods that are commonly used to engage the visitor would be appropriate to use with novice docents or guides. These processes become means by which the newcomer is linked to, and made comfortable in, the institution and its collection, and spark engagement in the learning process. The newcomer begins to experience on a personal level what meeting the visitor, student or adult, on their terms, is all about. The qualities of "rapport" and "sense of belonging" that the participants valued in their interchanges with students are important qualities to be cultivated in the p.88 novice guide or docent. This study leads to a second recommendation. Further investigation of active and informal learning models within the museum environment and utilizing them to work with docent/guide trainees is recommended. One of the tools for active learning is reflective practice. • Recommendation: Engaging Reflective Practice. Reflective practice complements the active-inquiry principle and what Cole (1997) describes as "the notion of process as content" and what Britzman (1991) recognizes as the "coming to terms with one's intentions and values" (p.8). The utility of some avenue of concrete reflective practice is implicated within this research. Half of the participants endeavoured to make entry journals; these same participants made some use of the self-evaluations provided by the Gallery. These participants confirmed the usefulness of written reflective devices. Others commented on the usefulness of being a part of a systematic interview process as a catalyst for self-awareness within the training. Difficulties lie in requiring written engagement; other options could be considered. This study recommends further consideration of the use of various means of reflective practice in docent/guide training (journals, dialogue journals, videotape, action-research, art-making). A degree of commitment and discipline is required for effective reflective practice; this study argues that this must be addressed within volunteer training programs. Recommendations for Further Research This study makes evident that many disciplines interact within, and might have impact upon, the field of museum education; and consequently, offer some direction to the training of people who are the interface between museum and public. The recommendations that follow consider two of these. p.89 • Pre-service Teacher Education. Acknowledgment and engagement with novice subjectivities is addressed in pre-service, or student, teacher research. This field offers material that is closer to the novice docent/guide experience than that which is concerned with the experienced teacher (as recommended by Duthie, 1990). Both the novice docent and the pre-service teacher undergo a continuum from learner to beginning educator. The pre-service practicum might be compared to the novice docent's first months as a tour guide. It would be fruitful to consider one phase of docent or guide training as an internship or practicum. This study made some use of pre-service research to shape its methods and discussion. Further research is recommended with the caution that the pre-professional schooling of the pre-service teacher generally differs in intensity from that of the novice guide or docent and modifications should be considered accordingly. • Adult Education. Research into strategies of adult education is recommended. As most docents or guides are adults entering a new learning environment, it would prove fruitful to examine principles of adult education. A brief overview of that field indicates a very complex theoretical arena. One adult learning researcher (Brookfield, 1994) advocates a parallel concern to the conclusions drawn here: that what is needed is "much more attention to how making meaning, critical thinking and entering new cognitive and instrumental domains are viscerally experienced processes" (p. 6). Further Recommendations • Collaboration. The previous discussion and recommendations derive from the assumption of the adoption of informal educational objectives within the museum. If the museum's primary focus is clear and consistent educational p. 90 objectives, then this study raises the question of the appropriateness of engaging volunteers for that practice. It recommends the possible collaboration with institutions training teachers, art educators or museum studies students for a jointly administered program that would serve the needs of both facilities and the students. Are higher education co-op programs feasible between these sectors? These suggestions offer an avenue for putting professional-track people into the more formal aspects of museum education programs. Collaboration between pre-professional programs and museums offers the opportunity for those anticipating professional careers to broaden their experience working with the public. Spalding (1993) describes a three-tiered system of pre-professional development within museums that begins with rudimentary service ("customer care") and ends with "informational skills." He believes that these museum assistants, the staff that have daily contact with the public, are "in some ways, (the) most important members of staff" (p. 13). He thinks that progression into the professional ranks (curatorship, even directorship) from this system is logical because those that have begun at the bottom tier "will know the business from the inside out and therefore will be able to develop it more creatively" (p. 14)- They will have extensive experience as "communicators" - the evolving role for museum professionals according to Spalding. This is an additional argument for preparing professionals through experience at various levels in their chosen fields. Internships for museum studies students exist, and collaboration between education programs and museums has been explored (Sandall & Cherry, 1994). This study recommends further research into these areas to assess their usefulness to students, museums and educational institutions. It also suggests that a mix of pre-professionals in the same museum or gallery might activate a dynamic learning opportunity. p.91 • Cultural Collections. The art gallery seems an appropriate environment to explore the implications of an informal learning experience. Works of art allow personal interpretation and response. Historic locations often employ active learning to engage the visitor in re-creation of historically based experience (panning for gold, spinning wool, stage coach rides . . .). How would personal engagement take place in the context of cultural artifacts, where cultural traditions and subjectivities are very specific; where there is a strong mandate to. respect those represented and to avoid trivializing their traditions; where there are "right" answers to object-centred questions; where authority of voice is an issue? Does the constructivist shift from "Knowledge to knowledges," from scholarship to narrative fit comfortably into a tour of an anthropology collection? Research into utilizing the subjective or informal museum experience in museum tours, and the training of tour guides/docents in the context of cultural collections is recommended. p.92 Epi logue The Researcher as Outsider-Insider From the beginning of this study, I struggled with the boundaries between researcher and participant. I entered the research quite sure of my position as an objective researcher. My objectivity was challenged from the first day as I felt drawn into participating in the program. As the study progressed and participants shared their concerns, I found myself torn between empathy with the trainees and those of the staff educators. This conflict reflected my current status as a guide and researcher anticipating future professional involvement in museum education programs and with volunteers. This pervasive ambivalence of position is recognized by many ethnographic researchers (Adler & Adler, 1994; Alexander, 1982; Bresler, 1994; Fontana and Frey, 1994; Gubrium & Silverman, 1989). Hammersley & Atkinson (1995) speak of the "marginal position of (the) simultaneous outsider-insider. The ethnographer needs to be intellectually poised between familiarity and strangeness" (p. 112). My thesis supervisor advised me to engage in the "messiness" of my situation. Once I felt reassured that this duality was an accepted position, I walked the line between researcher-participant with more confidence, keeping in mind Hammersley & Atkinson's caution that "the comfortable feeling of being 'at home' is a danger signal . . . . There must always remain some part held back, some social and intellectual distance" (p. 115.). As my own experience as a guide was largely shaped by self-discovery, I found myself excited by the opportunity to be on hand for some systematic training. Participation in the various workshops softened those boundaries felt by me and possibly perceived by the trainees. My active participation diminished as the trainees began to integrate into tours. My role throughout the study can perhaps be viewed as one of "peripheral membership" which Adler & Adler (1994) p.93 describe as those who "observe and interact closely enough with members to establish an insider's identity without participating in those activities constituting the core of group membership" (p. 380). My peripheral integration was generally successful. I found myself referring to the group as "we" in interviews and conversations ("the journal might become more fruitful as we become more active;" "we can hopefully inspire one another to really reflect about what we're learning"). I was included in conversations during breaks or after class, and participants readily included me in discussions about class material. The docent coordinator commented that I was "incredibly integrated" into the group. I was sensitive to interjecting personal perspective into interviews, but felt it was important to maintain a conversational quality even if that meant venturing an opinion or answering a personal question. Fontana & Frey (1994) validate this modest introduction of self into interviews: The emphasis is shifting to allow the development of a closer relation between interviewer and respondent . . . . Interviewers can show their human side and answer questions and express feeling. Methodologically, this new approach provides a greater spectrum of responses and a greater insight into respondents, (p. 370) Transcribing the interviews gave me an opportunity to review my more formal interactions with the participants. I discovered myself becoming a little too anecdotal on occasion ("in my experience as a museum guide . . .") and treading too closely to editorializing ("I would have had difficulties drawing the children out the way it was configured before . . ."). This seemed justifiable within the context of showing a "human side," yet my academic, interviewer self felt I had overstepped my role. This was a constant dilemma. My biggest challenge was finding a way to deal with some very specific tour content that happened to overlap into an area in which I was very familiar. I found myself raising questions in class (something I generally avoided) and p.94 expressing some concerns in conversation with trainees. I eventually went to the docent coordinator with referenced material in hopes of shedding new light onto what had become a problematic area within the tour for almost everyone. The tour was modified and I retreated into my peripheral status. Outside of the training program, my involvement influenced my ongoing tours at the anthropology museum. I found myself re-evaluating and re-shaping tour elements to try and integrate some of the methodology considered in class. While there were some limitations (see the "further recommendations" of this study), I found new confidence in dealing with school children which was a group that I didn't usually lead. At one point, I considered turning my research into an action research project to transform my own practice. M y final observation as researcher-participant would be to comment on the issue of self-inquiry complemented by a degree of structured learning. This is a paradox in my own practice and was a largely unresolved challenge that emerged within the study. While I feel eager for more specific learning methodology to apply to my own practice, I have also come to appreciate the freedom with which I form and reform my tours. 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(1987). Museums and the goals of art education. Art Education. 40(1), 50-55. p.100 Zeller, T. (1985). Art museum educators: Who are they? Museum News. 63(5), 53-59. I I p.101 Appendix A: Consent Form The graduate research study A Case Study of a Docent Training Programme requires the opportunity to interview a representative sample of the docent class in further depth. It is expected that there will be 4 (taped) interviews of approximately 1-1/4 hrs. each, spaced throughout the training programme. Participants will also be asked to keep a journal that will record personal reflections about the training experience and what it means to you. It is hoped that your personal insights will be shared with the interviewer, but there is no obligation to discuss or share your journal entries. The journal will be your property. It is hoped that not only will this reflective process be informative to the researcher but will also prove to be a positive activity that will have future use to you as a practicing docent. The objective of the study is to document the nature of the learning experience within a docent training programme, from the trainee point of view. Such information is foreseen to be a contribution to understanding the requirements and complexities of such training. All information gathered in this study (by questionnaire, interview, informal discussion, note taking) will be considered confidential. Participation is considered voluntary throughout; you have the right to withdraw or forego participation, or not to answer particular questions at any time. Your position within the training programme is not in any way affected by your decision to participate, not to participate, or to withdraw. Interviews will be audio-taped, and then a typewritten transcript will be made. Your real name will be changed to protect your identity. Transcripts will be available only to myself and my advisory committee. All transcripts, tapes and notes will be destroyed after the final report and any research presentations are made. Anonymity will be maintained in all discussions and in all presentations, written or oral. Permission may be sought in order to share the material in general terms with the larger class; volunteers will be encouraged to participate in such a brainstorming/feedback session. It is estimated that this study may require 20 additional hours over the course of your training . The gallery educator in charge of this training session has also agreed to participate in the questionnaire, interviews and journal writing. It is hoped that this will be a way to document modifications to preconceptions and expectations from the educator's point of view, and offer a comparison and complement to the material gathered from the volunteer trainees. Please sign both copies of this form to indicate that you have read and received a copy. One form will filed by the interviewer, the other is for your records. Please contact me with any questions at any time. I also include the name and phone number of my advisor at UBC. Thank you, Kathi Lees I consent to participating in the research study A Case Study of a Docent Training Programme. I understand my participation is voluntary and I can withdraw at any time without affecting my status in the docent training programme. I have received a copy of this form for my records. - - ---(signed) --r (print) phone (date) p.102 A p p e n d i x B: E n t r y Quest ionnai re Docent-Trainees September M y name is Kathi Lees and I am a student at the University of British Columbia undertaking my Master's thesis in art education. The title of my thesis is A Case Study of a Docent Training Programme. The study wil l only be conducted at the . . . . The objective is to gain insights into docent trainee's expectations and experience prior to beginning the programme and as the programme progresses. There is little research literature derived from the docent point of view. It is hoped that this study wi l l make a contribution toward understanding the complexities of the docent experience. This questionnaire is being presented to all trainees at the beginning of the class sessions; a modified form wil l be presented at the end to help document what changes of attitude and experience have taken place over the course of the training. It is hoped that all trainees wil l complete the questionnaires, but response is voluntary and is not a condition of beginning or successfully completing the training programme. A letter-code is indicated on the right-hand top corner of the interview sheets; this wi l l be the only identifying indicator in any use of the questionnaire information. Your name is requested; although any use of the questionnaire wi l l be anonymous, I need to match the entry and exit questionnaires for most effective use of the information. Each questionnaire should take approximately 1/2 hour to complete. Return of a completed questionnaire wi l l be considered consent to use the information in the manner described above. My study also calls for volunteers who are willing to be interviewed in more depth and keep a reflective journal. Please turn to the attached consent form for detailed information. If I can clarify anything further, please call me. p.103 APPENDIX B cont'd (ID code: ) QUESTIONNAIRE name: 1. Birthplace and year of birth? 2. How long have you lived in Vancouver? Where did you live before that? 3. What is your educational background? 4. What is your vocational background? 5. Do you make art? Please describe. 6. Have you ever taught? Please give a short history. 7. Have you ever volunteered before? Please give a short history. 8. How would you describe the role of an art gallery? 9. How would you describe the role of a docent in an art gallery? 10. What should be the primary purpose of an art gallery tour for school children ? 11. What should be the primary purpose of an art gallery tour for adults ? 12. Why would you like to be a docent? p.104 Appendix C: Interview Guide 1 (The first interview may include revisiting some of questions on questionnaire I; and later interviews wi l l encourage discussion of any journal material participant may want to share) Did you visit art galleries or museums as a child? What do you remember of those visits? can you recall differences between visits with a school group and visits with friends or family? Do you visit galleries or museums regularly (more than twice a year) as an adult? Why or why not? Can you describe a particularly moving experience in relation to art (visual or p e r f o r m i n g ) ? Do you remember an exceptional teacher? What are the qualities you r e m e m b e r ? How would you describe a good teaching model? (what are its methods and object ives?) Why is art (and art appreciation) important? What previous experience do you expect wi l l assist you in your docenting? Would you comment on the docent training program to this point? Review questionnaire: is there anything you would like to add? Would you consider keeping a journal? p.105 A p p e n d i x D: Interview G u i d e 2 Do you have any comments from the previous interviews? Did you keep any journal notes? Would you be comfortable sharing those? Where are you now in the integration process? What do you think you're learning? Do you think this is a self-teaching situation? Is class material helpful? Are you comfortable with the questioning technique? Are you comfortable with the content of the tour? What do you think of the evaluations? Do you find the comments helpful? encouraging? Are you improving? Tel l me about any outstanding moments in class? integrating? shadowing? Do you feel ready to give a full tour? What ages would you particularly like to work with? Any final comments? p.106 A p p e n d i x E: Interview G u i d e 3 Any comments on previous interview(s)? questionnaire? How are feeling now - at the end of the training process - about your abilities as a docent within the Emily Carr tour? What would you say are your strengths? weaknesses? Do you think the training contributed to your strengths? did/didn't address your weaknesses? What other role(s) in your life seemed to help your progress as a docent? There have been many changes during this program: change to the script, the exhibit, and the introduction of team teaching. Please comment on any or all of these changes, and how you have dealt with them. What has been the biggest challenge? What has been the greatest pleasure? (Did you make use of the tour evaluation form?) Did you self-evaluate/critique your tours in any way? In retrospect, do you think it would have been useful? How important has the script been? Do you use it as a guide, or do you stick to it closely? Do you improvise or elaborate? How would you describe your relationship as a docent to 1) the other docents, 2) the art gallery? How important was the social aspect of the program? Did you approach the docent coordinator or any other staff w/questions or concerns about the training programme? If so, did you have a satisfactory conversation? How much class material did you read? In your opinion, were class handouts useful? Should there be more or less? Have your opinions of Lawrence Paul's work changed over the course of training? Have your ideas about art undergone any changes since September? Have your ideas about education undergone any changes . . . ? Any other comments you would like to make? p.107 A p p e n d i x F : F i n a l Quest ionnai re Please use the self-addressed stamped envelope to return this questionnaire as soon as possible. If you will be involved in a final interview, please return it to me then. Thank you for your time and the sharing of your thoughts. Please review your answers to questions #8-11 on the attached copy of the first questionnaire, completed last fall. Do you want to add to or revise any of your answers? In others words, has your perception of the role of the art gallery and/or the docent been changed at all by your experiences as a docent-trainee? Please respond to these additional questions: 1. Are you comfortable with the designation of "teacher" to describe your docent position? Why, why not? 2. What is the most valuable skill or concept you have learned as a result of this training? 3. Are you considering returning as a senior docent? Why or why not? If your answer is no, would you consider a similar "interpretive" position (paid or volunteer) in the future at another public institution or cultural centre? p.108 Append ix G : Annotated L is t of Handouts to Docents (not necessarily in order of use; may not be complete) Carr Docent Training Program: Guidelines What is a docent? Goal of the School Program; Goal of the Docent Training Program; Expectations of a Docent. New Docent Training Program, Emily Carr Tours (Schedule, Sept. - Dec.) Welcome, Introductions; Docents as Learners and Teachers; The Elements of Art and Design; Talking About Art: a Tool and a Tour; Model Emily Carr School Tour; Docents begin shadowing; The Ages and Stages of Children's Artistic Development; Practice Time 1; Practice Time 2; Voice Workshop and Practice Time 3; Emily Carr Work in Contest and Practice Time 4. Emily Carr Model Tour for Grades 3-7 (Draft, Oct.) Introduction to Gallery and Framing of the Tour (9 min.); Part I: Carr's Life and Her Interest in Documentation of First Nation's Culture (artwork: photographs of Carr, maps, Victoria sketchbook, pottery case [5 min.]; Totem Poles. Kitseukla. 1912 [7 min.]); Part II: the Elements of Design Carr Used in Representing Her Two Main Motifs - First Nations' Totems and the Forest (artwork: Big Raven [6 min.]; Forest. 1931-33 [6 min.]); Part III: Compare Carr to Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (artwork: Scorned as Timber. Beloved of the Skv: Red Man Watching White Man Trying to Fix Hole in Sky [12 min.]). Emily Carr Model Tour for Grades K-2 (Draft, Oct.) Same but shorter stops as above plus Part IV: Zunoqua (artwork: Zunoqua of the Cat Village. 1931 (6 min.) Tour Props and Supplementary Tour Materials for Emily Carr Tours Condensed Chronology of Emily Carr's Life; Letter from Carr to Dr. H. E. Young, Minister of Education, Victoria re: backing from government for recording totem poles off "the beaten track;" Quotations from The Emily Carr Omnibus re: The Forest. Scorned as Timber. Indian House. Big Raven: totem references by A. Morrison; a Composite of Raven (and other) Stories; Northwest Coast Design Vocabulary From the Good Guide: A Sourcebook for Interpreter. Docents and Tour Guides (Grinder & McCoy, 1985): Verbal Communication; Nonverbal Communication: What we don't say; p.109 Questioning Strategies Intrinsically-Phrased Rewards Suggested use of phrases that use "cluster concepts" of "enjoyment" "pride," "cleverness, " "growth." Differences Between Praise and Encouragement (Smith & Dixon) "Don't you Think Some Brighter Colors Would Improve Your Painting?" - Or Constructing Questions for Art Dialogues (Hamblen, 1984) (Art) Vocabulary - The Structural Domain (Kindler, 1990) Words to describe shape, color, space, line, texture. Elements and Principles of Design (Defined) Line, Shape, Form, Texture, Color, Tone or Value, Intensity; Balance, Contrast, Emphasis, Movement (Rhythm); Pattern (Repetition); Unity Why visit an Artwork? Looking at Art (Stephen, 1987) A sequence of considerations for art criticism in the classroom: impulse, description, analysis, interpretation, information, personalization. (based on Feldman) The Developing Person Through Childhood & Adolescence (Bevoer ?) (overview) Profile of the Creative Child (fr. Jenkins, Art for the Fun of It) Summary Charts for Ages 2-4, 4-7, 7-9, 9-12, 12-14, 14-17 from Lowenfeld & Brittain, Creative and Mental Growth (1987) Communicating at Age Level (Love) Guidelines for communicating with young people (4-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 12-13, 14-17) for effective tours of school groups. Vocal Exercises Goals: to create a relaxed voice that has colour and range. To achieve intention with the voice. Tension release. Warming the articulators. Warming the resonators. Vocal Hygiene: How to get the best mileage from your voice. (Do's and Don'ts) (UBC/VGH Voice Clinic) Tongue Twisters (voice exercises) Guidelines for Phoning Teachers Before Tours (Winter) Teacher's Guide for School Tours of Emily Carr The artist; Pre-or post-visit activities; Looking at art; Vocabulary; Resources) Some Memorization Strategies Visual, verbal, kinaesthetic (body/sensory-oriented. p.l 10 U s i n g H u m o r to C o m m u n i c a t e Vocabulary Used W i t h the Canvas Examples Used in the E m i l y Carr Tours (supports, stretcher, canvas, sizes and grounds, charcoal sketching, turpentine wash, varnish) Materials in the Paint B o x for the Carr Tours (oil paint, pigment, medium, poppy seed oil, solvents, gum turpentine, rags and newspaper; palatte, palatte cup, palette knives, brushes) N e w Docent Tra in ing (Term 2: Jan. to M a r c h ) Practice Time: the grades 3-7 tour and Brainstorm: memorization tricks; Discussion and handouts: Tour issues, and Practice time, Transitions; Integration; Docent testing; Introducing Support Staff, Discussion and handout: Working with Teachers, Practice Time: Tour Choreography; Practice Time: The Grades K-2 Tour; Discussion: Group dynamics, "reading a group," boundaries; New Docents begin giving full tours; Tour feedback and Voice Workshop; Tour feedback and Brainstorm: Program Feedback; Tour Feedback and Building Tour: Conservation and prep departments, the vault; Tour feedback and Open (questioning strategies, etc.); Tour feedback and ESL workshop; Tour feedback and Open. E S L Tips H o w to Wri te i n Clear Language N e w Docent Tra in ing: Term 3 ( A p r i l to June) Schedule planning and Tour business; Architectural tour; Returning New Docents are joined in school tours by Brand New Docents; Vocal workshop; Media and materials workshop, and Tour business; Gallery Performance Piece; Graduation: Tour business, Introduction to Senior Docent Training; Graduation Ceremonies. Complete final phase of Emily Carr Tours. L a w r e n c e P a u l Y u x w e l u p t u n and E m i l y Carr: the B r i t i s h Columbia Landscape (notes on exhibit) T o u r i n g Eth ics , Issues and Strategies ( E m i l y Carr S c h o o l Tours , Jan.) Top 5 Catch Phrases to keep on the tip of your tongue; Extending student's responses; Point of View: your own and the artists; Terminology: First Nations; Terminology: Carr's personality; Emily Carr's name; Carr "documenting" First Nations cultures; It's all relative: "real," "typical," "normal;" Those light, fluffy questions: "Is this art?" "How much does it cost?"; Feelings, whoa whoa whoa; Facts vs. associations; Political positioning; Questions you don't know the answer to; Student groups who p . I l l remain silent; Behavioral tips; Movement tableaus; Props; Time buyers. Emily Carr Tour, grades 3-7 (Feb.) Learning objectives of this tour; Legend (learning objectives; teaching strategies; "your script" - the phraseology figured out for you; directions; focus of questioning; key concepts); Introduction (Welcome, security, students' knowledge of Carr, today's tour); Emily Carr's Life and Early Interest in First Nations Totems (Emily Carr's life, Early interest in First Nations Totems); Totem and Forest (Big Raven. Walking into Emily Carr's Forest); Comparing Carr and Yuxweluptun (Art and current events: Carr; Art and current events: Lawrence Paul; Comparison between Carr and Paul) Documentation of poles from Gitsegyukla in reference to Carr's "Totem Poles, Kitsuekla," 1912; from Totem Poles of the Gitksan. Upper Skeena River. British Columbia. Marius Barbeau, 1929 A Briefing on Totem Poles The Basics; Purposes; Format; Content; Suggestion for starting a discussion on why there are different genres of poles) From Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast (Stewart, 1979) (Cultural styles: Coast Salish, Haida) On the Carr Tour (things that need explaining well/extraneous things to get rid of or prioritize) (April) (Detective game/totems; Raven: Forest: Lawrence Paul; Other) Changes to the Emily Carr School Tour (May) p. 112 Appendix H: Emily Carr Scorned as Timber. Beloved of the Skv (1935) (oil on canvas), 112.0 x 68.9cm Collection: Vancouver Art Gallery Reproduced with permission Photo credit: Trevor Mills p.l 13 Appendix I: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Red Man Watching White Man Trying to Fix Hole in Sky acrylic on canvas, 142.2 x 226.1cm Collection^. & M. Adelaar, W. Vancouver, B.C. Reproduced with permission of artist Photo credit: Rob Boss (for Belkin Gallery) 


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