Guiding is a profession

Rondleiden is een vak
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The book ‘Guiding is a profession’ gives tools that museum educators and museum guides can use to design tours, an overview of the required competences and ways to further professionalize as a guide and educator. In this article you will find several practical outcomes of the research project that you can use at your own discretion. After all, each museum has a unique collection, own goals and vision.

The book summarizes the results of the research project Museum guide: a profession in its own right, a joint initiative by the University of Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Van Gogh Museum, supported by Fund 21 and the Mondriaan Fund.

Learning Outcomes

The research project focused on the professionalization of museum guides in art museums and history museums. The first study resulted in two lists of potential learning outcomes of an educational tour in art museums and historical museums.


The second study resulted in a list of competencies. The competencies are organized into four main areas of competence: Handling the group within the museum environment, Communication skills, Knowledge and pedagogy, and Professionalism. The article about this study has been published in Museum Management and Curatorship and can be downloaded here.

Based on the list of competencies, two tools have been developed: a self-evaluation form for museum guides, and an observation form for museum educators.

Post-observation conversations

The third study examined how museum guides and educators perceive a post-observation conversation, using the self-evaluation of the guide as a starting point. This compared to conversations in which the observations of the educators are the starting point.

Analysis of the interviews with all the participants showed that by using the self-evaluation as the starting point, the museum guide experienced more ownership during the conversation and the conversation became more equally balanced. In addition, the list of competencies served as a common language and helped to facilitate the discussion about the profession.

The article about this study has been published in Museum Management and Curatorship and can be downloaded here.



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