Themes for Thematic Interpretation | eHow
There are obvious parallels between Ham's view of thematic interpretation and those of who is widely considered the founder of the field of interpretation. The most important parallel is that both see interpretation as a process aimed at provoking audiences to do their own thinking and thereby develop their own subjective understanding of the world. This is in contrast to the view that interpretation instructs audiences to know or accept the interpreter's understanding of things.
Themes for Thematic Interpretation
Interpretive themes pull together multiple meanings of park resources into a story for people to explore. Thematic interpretation begins with resources and ends with a comprehensive program of interpretive offerings. It cumulatively builds on the significant meanings of the park and explores why its resources make it one of the best places to explore them.
Thematic interpretation is an approach to originally advocated by Professor William J. Lewis (University of Vermont) and subsequently developed by Professor Sam H. Ham (University of Idaho). In the thematic approach, an interpreter relies on a central theme (i.e., a major point or message) to guide development of a communication activity or device. In presenting the activity or device, the thematic interpreter develops the theme in such a way that it will be highly relevant to an audience. According to studies, presenting a strongly relevant theme greatly increases the likelihood an interpreter will succeed in provoking an audience to think about theme-related issues.
Providing opportunities for people to forge deeperconnections to meaningful places and things is the mission ofinterpretation. Thematic interpretation, an outgrowth of the mostfundamental of human communication systems (storytelling) is the mosteffective method for successfully, consistently, and systematicallyfacilitating these connections connections that often last alifetime. Before continuing, collect the tools your park uses to document its thematic scope. Ask the chief of interpretation or head ranger for a copy of the most recent interpretive prospectus and other pertinent documents for thematic interpretation. These documents indicate the policy decisions for which themes to interpret and frequently outline the methods a park uses. Review them, and keep the themes in mind while reading this chapter. Think, in particular, about how the results of archeological work may tell stories within —or outside—the thematic framework. Keep in mind that universal concepts are most effective and useful when they are more than just broad words. Context is also an important consideration that should not be overlooked when developing interpretive theme statements. We’ve adapted the discussion of these topics from the 2003 NPS Intermountain Support Office Theme Guide to explore thematic interpretation. Thematic Interpretation (TI) also refers to a high school speech event in some states such as California. "TIers" present multiple "cuttings" from published works on a common theme(either or ). The entire speech including an introduction and transitions should not exceed ten minutes. Contestants are judged based on the appropriateness of their selections and their portrayal of the characters. Another defining characteristic of Thematic Interpretation is the use of a single binder as a prop. Interpreters find that thematic interpretation draws out provocative and powerful stories from resources. Interpretive themes operate at two levels: as primary interpretive themes and subthemes. Primary interpretive themes are the overarching, biggest stories about the place. Subthemes are the smaller stories that nest within the primary interpretive themes. Jointly prepared by thematic interpretation expert Professor Sam Ham from the University of Idaho, Tasmanian consultant Anna Housego and Professor Betty Weiler from Monash University, the planning tool is part of a training and support package developed by Tourism Tasmania.The Thematic Interpretation Planning Manual iaims to assist the Tasmanian tourism industry better plan the way visitor experiences are developed.