Professional Development: Interpretive Planning and Interpretation

Science centers and museums use educators and interpreters to interact with visitors. New workers, either staff or volunteers, should have the chance to learn some education and interpretation training. Senior staff might need a brush up on their skills or need to learn new methods of engaging visitors. Behind-the-scenes staff like exhibit developers might also benefit from some interpretation training. Check out some of the opportunities for professional development or formal training below.

The American Association of Museums (AAM) offers lots of courses for a small fee. One of which, “Interpretive Planning Basics: Planning Visitor Experiences,” is a 90-minute webinar that highlights the critical components of an interpretive plan.

Interpretation can take many forms, for example, encouraging the public to get involved in science. The National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network) has an online guide, called “Public Engagement with Science,” that helps readers to create conversations among publics and scientists.

For those of you who would like a professional certification in interpretation, look no further than the National Association for Interpretation (NAI). Their courses for NAI Certification are taught by individual instructors and are offered all over the country, at all different times of the year.

How do you encourage your science center or museum staff to participate in continuing education?

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