Interpretation and Education Needs Assessment Project
“...in the future interpretation will very possibly become the most important single function of the National Park Service.”
|D. Otis Beasley,
Ass't. Secretary of the Interior
Interpretation and education in the NPS have been undergoing continual changes and evolutions for over fifty years.
As professionals, we change and revise who we are and what we do all the time.And as the field changes and evolves, training needs to shift and adapt as well. The Interpretive Development Program and the larger fields of interpretation and education face important and pressing evolutions, incorporating emerging scholarship and trends in response to wide-spread societal changes.
While individual advances and innovation exist throughout the Service, dramatic shifts towards globalization, digitization, and a learner-centered world impact the effectiveness of many of our current practices and require interpreters and educators to gain new skills to reach new audiences in the 21st century.
2014 I&E Needs Assessment
In response to these evolving trends, and to provide an updated understanding of field training needs, the IDP team at Mather Training Center initiated an Interpretation and Education Best Practices and Training Needs Assessment project in partnership with the WASO IE&V Office and Clemson University.
Periodic needs assessments serve as critical tools for all NPS career fields to identify training needs and priorities. The last I&E training needs assessment was completed nearly two decades ago. It helped inform the development of the Benchmark Interpretive Competencies and allowed for the first interpretive renaissance.
Evolving from this foundation, it is an appropriate and exciting time to renew our understanding of our professional skills and competencies through this needs assessment project.
The Results Are In!
Sincere thanks to all of you who took the time to complete the Needs Assessment Survey -- all those who contributed to the development of the survey questions -- and to the excellent work of our collaborators at Clemson University who conducted the survey and provided the report of the results. It is an exciting time in the history of the NPS and our professions of I&E, and we are excited that at almost 20 years since its inception, the NPS Interpretive Development Program has your support to continue pushing the envelope! Let's go!
Legacy Documents and Resources
As we explore the way into the evolving interpretive standards and competencies, it is important to remember what came before and how we have already been moving toward this change. The documents below are some of these legacy resources, as well as information that the new I&E Learning and Development Advisory Committee used in developing this needs assessment.
|The Needs Assessment Competency Lists & Tools:||Other Useful Resources:|