What employers seek in public history graduates (Part 2): Professional development ideas for public historians: An online discussion in preparation for NCPH 2013

binocularsThis is the second post in a series to discuss the genesis of the idea for the “What Employers Seek in Public History Graduates” session at the 2013 National Council on Public History meeting in Ottawa. Session panelists will continue share their thoughts on the topic in entries in the coming weeks.

I believe a cultural organization’s greatest value rests with its ability to change the world, and that cultural organizations must seek to provide experiences that:

  1. Inspire, challenge, and question;
  2. Nurture, inform, and educate;
  3. Offer dialogue, discourse, and debate;
  4. Provide opportunities for reflection and action; and,
  5. Offer enrichment through authentic interaction with people, place, and heritage.

Building on these values, I believe that professional development experiences must transcend disciplines, careers, and subject matter. The focus must move beyond collections, programs, and exhibits.  We can and should nurture a commitment to these things, but with a re-purposed fundamental intent; to use these skills as a vehicle for a larger purpose. Continue reading