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Embrace Controversy–Avoid Conflict

Overview

This handout — from the Interpreting Climate Change Virtual Class — provides useful guidance for interpreters and educators on embracing controversy as an interpretive tool, while avoiding the pitfalls of conflict and confrontation. Interpreters should utilize the relevance, passion, and energy of controversy. Controversy is derived from difference but does not have to lead to conflict and threaten interpretation. Park resources and resource issues such as climate change, possess multiple meanings that can be viewed from multiple perspectives. It is the diversity of resource meanings that provides the possibility of constituency building and a growing stewardship ethic. Audiences can disagree about the meanings of climate change but can agree that park resources are worthy of care.

What you’ll find

This handout provides interpreters with a set of useful skills they should develop to help them embrace controversy and avoid conflict.

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