Curiosity – The Fundamental Skill of ACE: A Guided Self-Study

(This is an evolving hub of learning – check back as more resources are developed and added)

Icon of two question marksWhat interests you? What do you love learning about?

Audience Centered Experiences are all about how curious we are. We need to be curious about so much when we’re exploring parks. That includes being curious about the story of the place. It means being curious about our visitors’ lives and experiences. It also includes being curious about our own personal passions, too.

Curiosity is just being interested in the world around you. It’s a skill you can cultivate.

Curiosity is the fundamental skill of Audience Centered Experiences – it powers forward every other part of ACE both for the interpreters crafting the experience and the visitors participating.

Building Your Curiosity

Want to discover more and practice your curiosity skills? These easy resources and activities can help you try out the tools of curiosity, exercise your curiosity muscles, and build your sense of wonder.

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Showing Friends You’re Curious

Being curious can start with sharing. How good are you at sharing who you are with those around you? There’s nobody better to ask than your friends and family.

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Puzzled on how to practice curiosity with visitors? Mirroring is a simple technique that can help you build empathy and learn to listen more.

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Power of Free-Range Curiosity

Curiosity is all about boundless exploration. Going out and finding new ideas is the core of growing. But how can you give yourself permission to explore?

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Going on a Curiosity Journey

Looking for a road-map for your curiosity journeys? It’s all about finding new things and asking new questions. Follow this map to start your quest!

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Fighting Your Superfan Impulse

Do you build experiences that you’d love? That might not be the best angle. You might be a superfan. So how do you help foster curiosity in the “Not We?”

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Diving Into What They’re Saying

What do visitors want out of an experience in your park? They’re already telling you, if you’re curious enough to search! And the trends are quite clear.

How Have Others Used Curiosity?

Curiosity can come at every stage of the interpretive process. You can let curiosity for the lives and experiences of others inspire your project from the very beginning. But your joy in curiosity might emerge over the course of truly listening to the visitors’ expression.

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Curiosity in Action:
Night Spoken

What does it feel like when a park is curious about YOU? And once you dig deep into your visitors, what can their voices help you create?

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Curiosity in Action:
Reaching Out to the Havasupai

How can you show curiosity about others who see your park differently? Ranger Kate from the Grand Canyon took a journey and she’d like to invite you along too..

Exploring and Practicing Your Curiosity

Learning activities are opportunities for you to practice and learn new skills. And there’s plenty of skills to help you stay curious and show that curiosity with your visitors everyday.

Making Safe Space
for Visitor Expression

This activity provides some techniques and perspectives that can help you provide safe spaces for expression and engagement in your park’s resources.

Dialogic Questions

In this learning activity, you’ll be introduced to the five elements of a good dialogic question – a key element to learning the stories of your visitors’ lives.

Building A Curiosity Community

Pictogram of discussion by Markus VIN from the Noun Project Looking for a community where you can practice curiosity and work through the skills of asking visitors questions? The Audience Centered Interpretation forum in the CLP’s Commons is a great place to run new ideas by interpreters from across the globe!

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  2. Even a quick read of this guided self-study sparked my curiosity. I looked up Yelp reviews for my park, and was pleasantly surprised at what visitors were saying. The guide offers a way to analyze the visitors’ comments to hone in on what visitors enjoy about visiting my park. Definitely, good to keep in mind when designing my program. Thanks for thinking deeply about curiosity and the need to break away from the “fan” perspective to see the visitor perspective more clearly.


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