The following are training resources broken down by touchstone topic and goal. This page is focused on Staff and Volunteer Recruitment, Training, Assessment, and Support.
This touchstone covers sub-topics:
- Recruitment and On-Boarding
- Assessment and Accountability for Frontline Interpretation Staff and Volunteers
- On-going Personal/Professional Growth, Support, and Mentoring
For more information, check out the Historical Research page on the CLP.
Staff and Volunteer Recruitment, Training, Assessment, and Support
A successful park invests in the recruitment, training, assessment, and ongoing support of its staff and volunteers. It is essential to create an environment where employees can reach their full potential and feel safe and empowered. All staff and volunteers – not just frontline staff – must receive training on race and identity awareness, as well as a general knowledge of the site’s history and non-negotiables. Frontline interpretation/education staff and volunteers should receive more in-depth interpretive training and content knowledge. A robust assessment program, with ongoing training and support, will help maintain a competent, knowledgeable, and empathetic workforce.
Recruitment and On-Boarding
The goal is to assemble a diverse staff and volunteer corps who are willing and able to interpret the history and legacies of enslavement. Diversity amongst staff and volunteers brings multiple perspectives and views, which makes for a robust and empathetic workforce. Objectives include:
- Building a diverse staff takes time and care.
- Recruiting a diverse volunteer corps is essential to carry out a park’s mission.
- Comprehensive on-boarding for staff, volunteers, and cooperating association staff (e.g., Eastern National) provides everyone with the opportunity to be on the same page and work toward the same goals.
- Volunteer Engagement Website
- Customized Workshops: Resume and KSA Preparation
- Human Resources Solutions (HRS): provides customized human capital and training products and services to support Federal agencies in meeting their mission objectives. We use our internal human capital experts, our private sector strategic partners, or a combination of both, to help agencies.
- Diversity in Conservation Jobs: the Diversity Joint Venture for Conservation Careers (DJV) is a partnership of federal and state agencies, universities, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and professional societies that work together to increase the number of women and people of color in the conservation workforce.
- Student Conservation Association: the Student Conservation Association (SCA) is America’s conservation corps. Our members protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks, and community green spaces in all 50 states.
- The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations
- Minorites in Natural Resource Conservation: The Directors of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies established the Agency Human Resources (HR) Committee at their meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas, on October 9, 2012. By action at this same meeting, they also established the Minorities in Natural Resources Conservation (MINRC) Subcommittee whose mission goals and objectives shall be executed under the umbrella of the Human Resource Committee.
The goal is to develop and implement a series of trainings that provide all staff and volunteers with the skills and guidance they need to interpret the history of slavery and build an anti-racist workplace. Objectives include:
- Establishing diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion training for all park staff, volunteers, and cooperating association staff.
- Establishing interpretation/visitor experience training for frontline staff and volunteers.
- Project Implicit: Implicit Association Self-Testing
- Cultural Competency and Bias: Raising Self-Awareness
- Watch the video Who, Me? Biased? – Peanut Butter, Jelly and Racism (02:26) by Saleem Reshamwala
- Watch the video We all have implicit biases. So what can we do about it? (12:00) Tedx Talks by Dushaw Hockett (September 18, 2017).
- Volunteers in the Parks Training Program and Resources
- “Preparing to Teach a Slavery Past: History Teachers and Educators as Navigators of Historical Distance,” Stephan Klein, Theory & Research in Social Education, Pages 75-109
- “Historical Reasoning: Towards a Framework for Analyzing Students’ Reasoning about the Past,” Jannet van Drie, Carla van Boxtel, Educ Psychol Rev(2008) 20:87–110, DOI 10.1007/s10648-007-9056-1
- “Rethinking representations of slave life a historical plantation museums: towards a commemorative museum pedagogy,” Julia Anne Rose, dissertation, Louisiana State University.
- “Talking about Race,” Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
- Anti-bias Definitions and Concepts, a document prepared by Dr. Mia Carey.
- National Council on Public History, Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
- Teaching Hard History: A Framework for Teaching American Slaveryessay, Learning for Justice.
- Rose, Julia.Interpreting Difficult History at Museums and Historic Sites. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016 website has supplemental materials.
- National Association for Interpretation: Training and resources available to professionals.
- When Slavery Is Erased From Plantations, an article by Talitha Leflouria, The Atlantic, September 2, 2018. Some presidential estates and other historical sites have struggled to reconcile founding-era exceptionalism with the true story of America’s original sin.>
- Planning a Better Way to Teach Hard History, The National Summit on Teaching Slavery.
- Educators Portal: a SharePoint site that includes a guide to making lesson plans and provides access to other educational materials.
- National Office SharePoint for Interpretive Development: this site offers tools, resources, and links to information you need to do your job; emerging trends, ideas, and innovative work across the field of interpretation are continually added.
- Webinar: Navigating Difficult Conversations: Strategies for Engaging Students in Social Issue Discussions.
Assessment and Accountability for Frontline Interpretation Staff and Volunteers
The goal is to establish tools for assessing staff and volunteer interpretive skills, and procedures for holding them accountable. Objectives include:
- Developing assessment tool for evaluating interpretation staff’s tours and programs.
- Developing process for assessing volunteers’ accountability to park’s interpretive goals.