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BES Interpretation’s Docs EDUC 2222, Interpretive Dance Card How-to’s

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Think about it:

Some classes require 10 hours or more of community service as a course requirement. Awesome.

Some classes require laboratory sessions that immerse you in lab work or fieldwork. Cool.

Some classes are nothing but lecture, lecture, lecture, homework, homework, homework. Too boring.

This class asks to you DANCE.

Over the course of the semester, you will fill out your INTERPRETIVE DANCE CARD by attending a diverse set of TEN interpretive and/or informal education programs and events. YOU DECIDE what you want to do and see this semester. Programs may be on campus. Some programs will take you to adventures in St. Louis (and beyond). Programs should introduce you to the objects, people, places, events and ideas that contribute to our natural and cultural heritage. Through this process you should have meaningful experiences and expand/reaffirm your worldview. If you emerge different than when you started, well, that’s mission accomplished.

We’ll discuss your interpretive experiences in class. You will also reflect on your interpretive experiences through your online postings to the BES Facebook page.

Here’s the steps you need to take:

  • If need be, create your own Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • LIKE the BES Facebook page (Bachelor of Educational Studies at UMSL)
  • Follow the BES Twitter page (@BES_UMSL)
  • Go to interpretive sites. Attend interpretive programs. (See the BES Interpretation Forum for local venues with interpretive offerings.)
  • Take pictures of the site. Be sure to take pictures of yourself enjoying/engaged in interpretive activities. We need a picture of YOU out there, engaged, learning and having fun.
  • Take notes as you go through your experience…
    What interpretive techniques did you observe?
    Was the program thematic? Explain your answer.
    In your opinion, did the event meet the needs and interests of the audience? Why or why not?
    Did you observe any interpretive best practices in play?
    Did the program help build community or encourage people to get involved?
    Was the program transformative in any way?By transformative I mean, did the opportunity to learn something new, think about something differently, understand something better, have new experiences, or become more emotionally connected to objects, people, places, events or ideas change you in some way?
  • Reflect on your interpretive experience. What worked? Why did it work? THINK ABOUT IT.
  • Write a reflection on your interpretive experience (250-300 words). Select photos to include in your post. Post your pictures and your reflection to the BES Facebook page.

Interpreters hone their craft by reflecting on the good, bad and indifferent of interpretive programs and informal education activities all around them. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the journey.


If you’re in doubt about an activity or event that you want to put on your interpretive dance card, ask. MANY things in the world around us are interpretive (for those who have eyes to see).


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