11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2004
I am very disappointed with the book. Just a few ideas are given here and then repeated and repeated and repeated. The authors give very simplified and basic instructions about guide training in a way that can be useful only for schoolteachers in remote areas of Africa.
For instance, they suggest a procedure, which begins with the following operation: "Begin the session with an open discussion. Ask the class: What is material culture? If the class know what it is, ask them to name examples of material culture, both generally and at the site. If they are not familiar with the term (?!?), give a quick accurate definition: material culture is anything shaped by human hands".
An another example is the authors' suggestion to trainers about how to prepare their class on "Identifying the Site's Topics". They say: "Assemble materials. Flip chart pages developed during Activity 2.1 (tape to walls or make available for people to see). Easel, flip chart, and markers of at least four colors." For God's sake, it's about the guide training for conducting historical tours and not about kindergarten activities!
The whole text of approx. 150 pages twirls around a basic idea that 'a great tour' is based on several elements such as storylines, themes, physical evidence, biography of historic personalities and historical context. How to pull it all together is probably a scheduled purpose of the book, but I'm afraid that its authors missed their aim.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2005
This is a wonderful book when used properly. The book is to be used as a training guide for a class or workshop. The book is set up to work out specific excercises for a mock historical site. I took such a workshop through the National Trust in which this book was used. We followed along with the instructor (who used slides, charts, and yes, colored markers--see review below)working in team groups. It has been a valuable reference to refer back to. Even if you do not get to take the workshop put on by the National Trust you could adopt the book to conduct a workshop in your own organization. It empahsizes using historical materials and research available to you to create inclusive narratives based on facts and verifiable, giving authority to your exhibits, rather than leaving visitors with mistruths and misconceptions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2014
This is another one that I think is very important to the field of Public History. If you have to get it for class, you'll love it. If you want it to learn, you'll love it.