What’s Going on Here? Best Practices for Implementing Visual Thinking Strategies in the Docent Core
Turgeon, Caryn E.
Savannah, Ga. : Savannah College of Art and Design
Thesis (M.A.) -- Arts Administration
Savannah College of Art and Design -- Department of Arts Administration
Includes bibliographical references (p.65-67).
This thesis focuses on Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) implementation in the museum docent core and what aspects of the VTS method prove challenging to docents. The related literature depicts the VTS method and its placement within gallery teaching practices in art museums and examines the significant lack of information regarding the challenges faced by docent managers when implementing the VTS methodology within docent tour programs. The researcher used a multiple-case embedded case study and the Telfair Museums served as a direct observation case. Additional data collected from the Art Institute of Chicago and Smart Museum of Art examined how art museums face similar challenges in docent management when implementing alternative tour methods like Visual Thinking Strategies in their docent tour programming. The researcher chose these specific organizations to create a fuller picture of docent management. Utilizing direct observation, formal and informal interviews, and collection of data through documentation, this study offers a thorough explanation of how education staff responds to docent disengagement.
The findings of the research reveal that the docents’ loss of “control” in tour preparation and tour giving is the major challenge with the implementation of VTS methodology in docent tour programming. The findings suggest an adoption of docent training best practices, which include setting goals, preparation, accountability, and commitment, to encourage docent participation rates when implementing VTS methodology in the museum docent core. Further research suggests an inclusion of quantitative research methods to survey a larger population of docent program participants. Future findings may serve as a database for docent managers and museum education staff to reference when implementing alternative tour methods like VTS.
CHAIR: Farago, Chance
PDF : 86 p. : ill
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