Docents | Volunteers

docent giving a talk in front of a group or people looking at a larger than life head made of ceramic clay. The nose of the figure is flattened as if it walked into a glass wall docent giving a talk in front of a group or people looking at a larger than life head made of ceramic clay. The nose of the figure is flattened as if it walked into a glass wall
image of a hand pointing to details on a greek vase image of a hand pointing to details on a greek vase
The Lowe Art Museum Docent Program supports the mission of the education department by leading group tours for museum visitors. Docents present tours using inquiry-based strategies. An inquiry-based approach uses questions to help people learn. Inquiry-based learning and teaching allows learners to participate in the education experience, opportunity for rich exploration, as well as, multiple perspectives and ideas.

 

The Lowe Art Museum Volunteer Docents group began in 1972. The group has grown to more than 75 men and women conducting tours throughout the Museum helping visitors explore and connect with the Lowe's collection.  Volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds and have varied and remarkable talents.

The Lowe Art Museum Docent Volunteers support the mission of the museum by providing a corps of trained volunteer guides (docents) to lead group tours for museum visitors. Docents present tours using inquiry-based strategies. An inquiry-based approach uses questions to help people learn. Inquiry-based learning and teaching allows learners to participate in the education experience, opportunity for rich exploration, as well as, multiple perspectives and ideas. The Lowe Art Museum often incorporates Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), a method of inquiry, for K-12 and college tours due to its student-centered approach, its emphasis on constructivist theory, skill building and aesthetic development.

Docents are recruited and trained as volunteers for the Museum's Guided Tour Programs, designed to serve the needs and interests of our diverse visitors, from elementary school children to adults. No prior art history background or work experience is required to volunteer; however, those wishing to volunteer in the Guided Tour Programs should be comfortable working and communicating with the public.

Volunteers for these positions undergo extensive, rigorous training to achieve the highest standards of content and presentation. All accepted applicants are required to attend a training course concentrating on the history of art as it applies to the Museum's collection, as well as on inquiry-based approach to presentation skills and research techniques. Volunteers are responsible for extensive research and preparation for their tours.

Content and training will be presented by Museum staff and guest lecturers. Sessions will include classroom lectures, group discussions, multi-media presentations, and museum-based learning. Class participants will be assigned homework, which will include extensive reading and writing assignments. Participants will be required to successfully model tours prior to full acceptance into the program.

Volunteering in the Museum's Guided Tour Programs requires a high degree of motivation and dedication. The experience is highly rewarding. Interested applicants are very strongly encouraged to follow two volunteer-led guided tours this season at The Lowe before applying.

Contact: Jodi Sypher to learn more about the program and to apply: jsypher@miami.edu or 305-284-3621.