The Interpretive Development Curriculum provides an
opportunity to create a customized, outcome-based developmental
program for all interpreters. The curriculum
can be used by any person providing interpretive and/or informational
services within a National Park or other site, and directly
supports certain elements of protection positions under Ranger
Module cover page: includes an overview statement
of context, detailing the relevance or potential value of
that competency, and a competency description that defines
the skills set as an intended performance outcome. It is important
to read the module cover page to gain an understanding of
the spirit and intent of each module.
each module is supported by one or more curriculum components.
The curriculum components outline the developmental learning
elements that compose the skills set for each competency.
From these outlines, 1) employees and their supervisors can
determine learning needs and strategies, 2) instructors
can develop sessions and lesson plans. Each component also
contains a list of useful references and developmental activities.The
components serve as a guide to employees in identifying aspects
of the competency that are unfamiliar, and therefore a potential
Assessment rubric: the measurement tool that
defines the national standard for
each competency area. The rubrics are used by certifiers (peer-reviewers)
in measuring whether a specific product demonstrates the elements
of success in that area, at a point in time. Employees should
use the rubrics as guides for self-assessment. They can also
be used to determine whether work is needed on specific skills
or to complete other preparation before attempting to meet
the certification standards. Several of the competencies presume
that employees have other technical skills in hand PRIOR to
attempting the competency certification in that area.
guidelines: Each of the ten benchmark modules includes
a "How to Submit -- Submission Guidelines" page, which
describes how each competency project should be prepared and
packaged for review by the certifiers. Employees should be
fully informed on what is expected in each submission. The
Key Submission Points provide important information for each
of the curriculum, components, submission guidelines, and
resources are available on line and can be downloaded.
Step-by-Step Guide to a Professional Development Strategy
and supervisor study each benchmark competency module.
Begin by discussing the rubric "stem statements" (bold
print statements on assessment rubric page), which articulate
the standards for certification.
and supervisor determine if employee is ready to attempt
to prepare and submit for certification review, and/or
whether developmental needs exist within that area.
no developmental needs exist, employee prepares a project
(see "How to Submit" for each module) with supervisor's
guidance. Submit project to training manager for distribution
to the peer-review certifiers. (No training or other developmental
effort is needed!)
developmental needs exist, employee and supervisor study
the specific module and components. Employee and supervisor
discuss content areas which cover the needs, identify
options for obtaining those needs, including mentoring,
peer coaching, OJT, details, local park/seasonal training,
regional training, local college, correspondence course,
vendor training (including NAI), or national training.
The curriculum serves as a guide. It eliminates the need
to wait for a national course, and the uncertainty of
being selected for the class. Of particular value in self-development
efforts are the "Suggested Developmental Activities"
and "Resources" listed at the
end of each component.
assistance or advice is needed, employee and/or supervisor
consult with a regional curriculum
coordinator and/or the training manager.
each project early in your developmental time line! The
peer review process takes time, and you may have to repeat
an effort to meet certification standards. A suggestion
is that you submit your project during the non-peak periods
(highest volume occurs between September 1 and December
review project, and using the "stem statement" language
(bold print) from the rubric, determine whether it meets
certification requirements, or approaches them. The project
is returned by the training manager through the supervisor
to employee. All original materials are returned. Supervisor
may complete a 5-part 10-182 form to properly document
accomplishment of each competency in OPF. Allow a minimum
10-12 weeks turnaround time for all reviews. Seasonal
delays (September-February) in turnaround time are
a project is a particularly effective example in any project
area, employee may be asked if the project may be used
as a national example of success (called an "Anchor").
Anchors are not intended to be perfect products, simply
clear examples of the elements that are defined as success
in that area. A project will be used only if written permission
is obtained. You might also be asked to allow your product
to be used in a training environment as a positive example
of a successful effort.
a project approaches, but does not meet the certification
requirements, feedback from certifiers will be forwarded
to employee through supervisor so that the product can
be revised. An employee and supervisor may repeat this
process as many times as they wish. Assistance and clarification
on any question relating to a specific project's "needs"
will be available from any certifier/curriculum coordinator,or
the training manager.
in time assessment: It
is important for the employee and supervisor to keep in mind
that this is a "point in time" measurement. If a product achieves
success, it means only that the one project has met the standards,
and does not imply success in all efforts or overall performance
on the jobthat is up to the supervisor to determine.
If your project approaches the certification standards, it
means only that the one project has not demonstrated what
is needed to meet the standards, and does not suggest overall
interpretive shortcomings on the jobthat is up to the
supervisor to determine.
If you are a supervisor of seasonals, volunteers, or other
non-permanent NPS interpreters, please make certain each have
access to this material.
Instructors: A supervisor, mentor, or anyone
who wishes to instruct any aspect of the curriculum is welcome!
Instructional training and/or experience certainly helps,
but if you wish to develop and present components for self-benefit
or the benefit of your site, park, cluster or office, feel
free! The components serve as your guide to covering each
subject. The resources and reference lists
can help you develop your material. The suggested
developmental activities listed in most components
are activities, exercises, or projects which you may use formally
or informally to convey the concepts within the component.
Any of the Interpretive Skills Lesson Plans listed can help
you in your preparations, as long as you use the components
and their objectives in developing your material. Some older
skills lesson plans may contain out-of-date material.]
If you have resources, references, additional developmental
assignment ideas, or other materials to add, PLEASE contribute
to the cause! Contact the Interpretation Training Manager
at Mather Training Center, 304-535-6215.