IDP Home Page About the Program How to Use the Program View Competencies F.A.Q. Contact Us About Us, IDP News, Updates, and More
IDP Home Page
Fulfilling the NPS Mission 101
Informal Visitor Contacts 102
Interpretive Talk 103
Conducted Activity 210
Interpretive Demonstration 220
Interpretive Writing 230
Curriculum-based Program 270
Planning Park Interpretation 310
Interpretive Media Development 311
Leaning Interpreters 330
Interpretive Research
Other Developmental Competencies


Planning Park Interpretation Curriculum-based Program Interpretive Writing Interp. Demonstration Conducted Activity Interpretive Talk Informal Visitor Contacts Fulfilling NPS Mission IDP Homepage Interp. Media Development Leading Interpreters Interp. Research Interpretive Writing Curriculum-based Program Planning Park Interpretation Interp. Media Development Leading Interpreters Interpretive Research Interp. Demonstration Conducted Activity Interpretive Talk Informal Visitor Contacts Fulfilling NPS Mission IDP Homepage





About the Module The Curriculum Certification Standard About Submission More Resources Anchor Products

Component for Module 310

Serving on an Interpretive Planning Team

Content Outline l Resources l Suggested Developmental Activities | Previous

Interpretive park rangers must be able to provide input into the interpretive planning process and perform as effective members on an interpretive planning team. Regardless of the level of involvement, the interpretive park ranger must understand how an interpretive planning team operates and be ready to respond accordingly from site to site and project to project. Of special importance is recognizing the responsibilities of the team facilitator and other team members as well as finding ways to work together to address problems, achieve consensus, and develop strategies to accomplish effective team planning.

At the completion of this component, learners will be able to:

  • Perform as effective planning team members;

  • Explain the importance of consensus building in team situations;

  • Describe the role of the team facilitator.

This component aims to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective interpretive planning team participant. The learner needs to recognize the importance, attributes, and responsibilities of an effective team member. The learner should also consider how his/her own knowledge, values, perspectives, convictions, conduct, and other attributes can contribute to or conflict with consensus building.

Return to the Top

Content Outline

I. Advantages of a team approach

A. Provides for multiple points of view/diverse perspectives
B. Provides potential for ideas to build upon one another and create synergy
C. Creates ownership among team members and those they represent

II. The role and function of team members

A. Assembling a team is a collaboration between the park and the assigned HFC or consulting planner.
B. Different perspectives and expertise

1. resource expert
2. planner
3. park staff
4. park partners
5. stakeholders
6. interest group representatives
7. recorder

C. Responsibilities of the facilitator

1. manage the team process
2. develop consensus
3. coordinate logistics
4. ensures objectives and timelines are met
5. tracking team decisions and self-imposed needs

III. Building consensus

A. What is consensus?
B. Principles of consensus building

1. outcomes are acceptable to all participants, 100% agreement is unnecessary
2. active participation
3. common base of information
4. positive/supportive atmosphere
5. respect disagreements
6. identify and validate assumptions when necessary
7. identify the unmet need/problem

C. Attitudes which promote consensus

1. open-minded willingness to listen and consider multiple points of view
2. express viewpoint openly and directly
3. willingness to be persuaded
4. listen non-defensively
5. commit to the search for creative solutions

D. Skills for developing consensus

1. identify and validate the problem or what is not being addressed
2. determine the level of disagreement
3. test assumptions regularly
4. search for creative solutions or missing elements
5. test consensus when it becomes evident

Return to the Top


The Art of Facilitation, NPS, conducted by William Southworth and Sara S. Grigsby, WASA and New Health, 1996.

Planning for Interpretation and Visitor Experience, Harpers Ferry Center, Division of Interpretive Planning (Available on Harpers Ferry Center )

Return to the Top

Suggested Developmental Activities
1. Observe, as a non-participant, an interpretive planning meeting. Did the meeting have clear objectives? Describe the process through which the facilitator and team members developed consensus. Were there problems? How were the problems overcome? How did team member personalities affect consensus building? Did all team members contribute effectively? Did the team have the appropriate resources to accomplish its objectives? Were multiple points of view represented AND respected? How did the facilitator contribute to the success or failure of the team?

2. Participate in a team-based project. Did your team work well together? Were there personality conflicts? Did you feel like you could express your opinion freely? Were your opinions respected? Did you respect the opinions of others? Were you listened to and did you listen to others? Did the group develop consensus? Were any members left out? Were multiple points of view represented and respected?

Return to the Top


Editor: STMA Training Manager Interpretation

NPS Home l Privacy Notice l Disclaimer and Ownership
Visit ParkNet