An exploration into inspiration in heritage interpretation through virtual World Cafe
Gilson, Jacquline Faye
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Inspiration in heritage interpretation was explored as an alternative to the traditional instrumental knowledge-based approach used in the field. Thirty-three professional interpreters from 21 agencies across North America participated in dialogue through Internet-based World Café focus groups, an emerging research method that was assessed through the inquiry. Literature and dialogue reviews revealed nine characteristics of inspiration, including the dissection of inspiration into inspired by and inspired to: inspiration is contagious, positive, individual, transcendent, unexpected, and holistic; and requires receptivity, which may be cultivated. Participants felt that inspiration is the goal of interpretation and 10 factors for inspiration-based interpretation emerged. The role of provocation and the ability of interpreters to meet their agencies' requirements, particularly the need for measurement, were discussed. Agencies' and visitors' needs may be met through heritage interpretation aimed at the cognitive, affective and conative domains, which may result in meaningful connections between visitors and place.
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