A New Paradigm for Interpretation
A powerful paradigm for lifelong learning has emerged where interpreters can shift their focus from being primarily a "sage on the stage" to a "guide on the side," from being largely the content expert among audiences to being a facilitator, from being the sole authority to being a co-learner and co-leader.
This robust re-imagining and ongoing evolution of interpretation will continue its shift from a hierarchy to a network. In place of vertical levels of expertise or techniques, interpreters can be more deeply interconnected and interrelated, associating as needed with other NPS staff, community organizations, partners, and audiences via in-person and digital webs.
In addition, the field of interpretation will focus more deliberately on processes of response and engagement with audiences than products formulated largely by interpreters for audiences.
These are profound shifts in both perspective and action. In this paradigm, parks take their place as resources of readily acknowledged public value, instruments of lifelong learning, integrated with diverse audiences’ cultures and practices, where interpreters and audiences address societal needs and aspirations and welcome the opportunity to challenge and engage with one another as co-learners.
Sign in the Smithsonian Museum of American History
In this paradigm, interpreters share authority and discovery with audiences by:
This website is a collaboration container for exploring, sharing, describing, questioning, discovering and all around mucking about with the ideas and skills associated with 21st century engagement and participation with natural and cultural heritage. It is associated with practitioners and partners of the U.S. National Park Service. It is not an official NPS site. All are welcome.