National Park Service
US Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Interpretive Development Program

IDP Newsletter -- June 17, 2013


Interpretive Development Program
Professional Standards for Learning and Performance
DEWA- informal interp
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In This Issue...
  • Training Without Travel 
  • Training Near You
  • Training Exchange
  • What do you need?
  • Every Program is an Experiment     
  • The National Park Service and Common Core  
  • Free Credit Codes  
Training Without Travel
When to post 2
Recognizing the challenge recent budget and travel cuts pose for those wanting to attend face-to-face training, the Interpretive Development Program would like to share several training opportunities that do not require travel. 
  •  July 9-12Interpretive Development Program Digital Media for Interpreters Virtual Course, to apply click here.     
Interpretive Development Program webinar series:              

Dialogue Training Near You
Not all training can be effective in an online format. Here are a few upcoming face-to-face training opportunities that may be available to you. Check the IDP website for links to the training announcements as the dates approach. 


Class: Interpreting Critical Issues using Facilitated Dialogue

  • Aug. 26-30, 2013 Washington, DC (tentative)
  • Sept. 10-13, 2013 Boston, MA
  • Oct. 22-25, 2013 San Francisco, CA
  • Nov. 5-6, 2013 Reno, NV
  • Nov. 19-21, 2013 St. Louis, MO
  • Dec. 16-17, 2013 Miami, FL
  • Late winter, 2014 Anchorage, AK

Training Exchange
Here are some training opportunities that have come across our desk that we think might interest you. What training have you found and loved? Share any gems on the IDP facebook page.


Northeast Regional I&E Webinar Series: 

Alliance for Excellent Education:

ASCD webinars:

Climate Change, Earth to Sky Partnership:

Leadership Training:


What do You Need?
by Katie Bliss

What new skills do you need to ensure the NPS is relevant in its second century? What techniques engage 21st century audiences? What "traditional" skills are still essential to good interpretation and education? 


This fall, the IDP is launching a comprehensive needs assessment to evaluate the training needs for the Interpretation and Education workforce - and coming to you for your input. Please look for opportunities to join virtual focus groups to help describe the work of the 21st century interpreter - your perspective is crucial! Check out the IDP website and Facebook page to get involved. 


Every Program is an Experiment
by John Rudy

Sometimes we let so much rest on 'success' when we

harpers ferry
Local students of Harpers Ferry participating in the Storer College/Niagara Movement program. 

march out of the visitor center to do our programs. Every time needs to be perfect, we tell ourselves, these visitors deserve the best. But could that lead to stagnation, using the same old techniques to tell the same old stories while the world around us evolves? What if we thought of every program as an experiment? What if every time we went into the field with visitors, we tried something new? 


It doesn't need to be a huge new idea, just some small tweak. And as we made that tweak, what if we looked into our visitors eyes to see if it worked, if it stuck, if the experiment succeeded or fell flat on its face? What new approaches to our special places might you find this summer if only you intentionally experiment? 


The National Park Service and 
Common Core 
by Kimble Talley
C&O Canal fieldtrip
Students admire their new Trail Tracker T-shirts during an education program at C&O Canal, Williamsport.
As an Education Training Specialist for the NPS, it is critical that I stay connected to what's happening in parks andclassrooms. Much of my work involves researching and learning to share and collaborate with you. As I receive feedback on the issues relevant to park educators,it is no surprise that the single most important topic is how to integrate the Common Core standards. Even though a few states have not adopted the standards, the thirst for adequate and relevant information is evident. 
While conducting research for the resources I want to share (see below), I came across this quote in an article on Common Core: "the goal is to get students to see how beliefs and biases can influence the way different people describe the same events." Can you imagine a description of standards that feeds more perfectly into what we do in parks? As we attempt to provide "emotional and intellectual" connections through conversations in parks, I know we can definitely plan for the Common Core standards.
I would like to share my top 10 resources on connecting to and truly understanding what the Common Core is and is not. If you have relevant examples, please feel free to share them, click here toemail me. 
 5. Understanding the Standards by The Hunt Institute
 4. Edutopia

Free credit code for  
online Interpretation Course
Do you want to access the National Park Service online Interpretation courses for free? These courses, created in partnership with Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, can be accessed at
Fill out the form Free Credit Code for Online Interpretation Course. To fill it out, click here  
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Stephen T. Mather Training Center
51 Mather Place
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
304.535.6215 main
304.535.6408 fax