Heritage Interpretation Development is the PUP Consortium arm that specializes in heritage management performance through the use of heritage interpretation, interpretive and experience planning, and product development. Its corps of instructors offer a variety of performance-building programs focused on key interpretive and public use skill sets and roles. Skills include Public Speaking, Graphic Design, Basics of Effective PowerPoint Presentations, Exhibit Design, Interpretive Research Methods, Interpretive Planning, Storytelling, Interpretive Evaluation, Product Design, Experience Planning, Public Use Planning for Heritage Areas, Itinerary and Product Management, New Models of Protected Area Management. Sometimes we contribute to offerings of other programs.
How We Differ from Other Interpretive Training Efforts
Unlike most interpretive training programs, ours focuses on the development of management performance, so we do not view interpretive training as either isolated or stand-alone. We work with organizations more than individuals to help them build their ability to use interpretation as a management strategy. Like the rest of the PUP Consortium, we adhere to the PUP Training Principles (link to principles) that focus on development more than just trainings. Here are specific ways we differ from other programs.
- We work with the agency and its social context rather than just with isolated guides.
- We mentor interpreters in the process of producing a market-ready product rather than one-off, one-time trainings.
- We do not certify for completing a course, rather we recognize interpreters once they produce polished products tested with real audiences.
- We do not dedicate valuable time to teaching theory or history, rather we focus on skill building.
- We do not have one-size-fits-all training; we adjust for local guides, national guides, professional interpreters, or interpretive managers.
- We prefer not to offer training in just interpretation, rather accompany that with complementary skills in product development and other guiding skills for the organization that employs interpreters. The PUP Consortium has trusted members to offer complementary skills.
- We prefer to work with supervisors to learn how interpretation can help meet their management objectives.
- We prefer to work with a local assistant or choose the best student to serve as future trainers, so local interpretive capacity is greater than when we arrived.
- We demonstrate every skill, whether message writing, storytelling, or interpreted walks, so guides experience live quality examples.
- The program is based at CATIE taking advantage of its programs, certifying power, and academic credibility.
- In short, we apply the principles of adult education and holistic training (references available upon request). Guides from Honduras in 1998 rehearse their interpretive skills.