I finally get it!!!

Well, it seems you can teach an old dog new tricks! Since iSWOOP was first introduced to the park way back in January, there has been a lot of discussion about the techniques we need to be using in our programs.

You have all done a stellar job of working to use the interactive techniques (questioning) that Martha wants used to engage the visitors in a dialogue about Nick’s research. It’s been, for me anyway, extremely difficult to pull myself away from the traditional “I speak, you listen” interpretation and grasp the meaning of what Martha has wanted us to accomplish with iSWOOP programs.

I finally get it! The wave of the future for NPS interpretation is exactly what Martha has been talking about all along. You can call it “Facilitated Dialogue”, Dialogic Interpretation”, Two-way Interpretation”, “Inquiry-based Learning” – it really doesn’t matter – the bottom line is by involving the visitors in the learning process studies have shown they will retain the information longer. But their personal involvement also helps them to find the relevance and deeper meanings of the resource.

Two-way interpretation on the surface is just like any other program – it has a beginning (introduction), a middle (body) and an end (conclusion). The difference is that the middle can go in any direction, based on the interests of the visitors themselves.

So, I have placed a folder on the S-drive Interpretation and Education/Two-way Interpretation. Most of the documents I took directly off the Eppley IDP website (www.idp.eppley.org). Go to this website and click on training. Near the bottom of the page you will see New-IDP Self-Study Module. Click on facilitated Dialogue Toolkit for a free self-study course!

I was very excited to see a facebook page dedicated to facilitated dialogue with rangers helping rangers understand the techniques by sharing successes and failures with their programs. It was awesome to read that many of them have had the same struggles we have had with this kind of programing!

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