Rethinking Docent Training at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: A Pilot Project

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Richard Lachapelle
Emily Keenlyside
Manon Douesnard


Abstract: In 2014-2015, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) and Concordia University's School of Extended Learning conducted a joint pilot project with the objective of determining the effectiveness of a new approach for training volunteer museum guides based on a dialogic method. In this paper, we address: (i) the conceptualization of alternative training based on dialogic concepts; (ii) the development of a new course outline; (iii) the trial period during which volunteers took part in test training; (iv) and, finally, aspects of what we learned during this undertaking. This pilot project is important because it will influence future docent training at the MMFA and possibly elsewhere.

KEYWORDS:  Museum education; docent training; dialogic teaching; video elicitation; participant-centered exchanges

Résumé: Le Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM) et l’École d’apprentissage prolongé de l’Université Concordia ont mené en 2014-2015 un projet pilote concerté afin de déterminer l’efficacité d’une nouvelle approche de formation des guides bénévoles au musée, approche fondée sur une méthode dialogique. L’article couvre les points suivants : (i) la conceptualisation d’une nouvelle formation fondée sur les concepts dialogiques ; (ii) la mise au point d’un nouveau schéma de cours ; (iii) la période d’essai pendant laquelle les bénévoles ont suivi la nouvelle formation à l’étude ; et finalement (iv)  les différents aspects de ce que nous avons appris au cours de cette démarche. Ce projet pilote est important car il influencera la formation future des guides-interprètes du MBAM et peut-être même ailleurs.

MOTS CLES: Éducation muséale; formation guide bénévole; enseignment dialogique; incitation par video; les échanges participant


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