This article describes what undergraduate students learned from participating in a museum docent program at a large, public university on the West Coast of the United States. The majority (93%) of students report an increase in their ability to effectively communicate specialized knowledge to museum visitors in one or more of the following ways: 1) identifying what visitors know and adjusting their explanations accordingly; 2) translating technical information to visitors; 3); communicating information in an active, hands-on manner; 4) confidently communicating their knowledge to others. Students reported personal and professional benefits as well. In addition to this focused observation approach, student reflections were analyzed for two pre-identified themes. Benefits reported by student docents can be realized by other undergraduate students teaching in contexts other than a museum, as long as students doing the teaching receive frequent feedback, fulfill an authentic need among those whom they teach, and take time to reflect on their teaching experiences. Archaeologists who want their students to achieve key learning goals such as effective communication can help students reach these goals by providing them with opportunities to teach what they have learned to others.
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Hood, Larkin N.
2018 What College Students Learn from Teaching Others. Journal of Archaeology and Education 2
Available at: https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/jae/vol2/iss5/1