Students Lead Parent Tours

Parents Weekend kicks off student docent program

Posted by Emily Bryan October 30, 2009

Groups of parents visiting during the University-wide Parent and Family Weekend event, October 23-25, had a special opportunity to attend the first public tours offered by participants in the Kemper Art Museum’s Teaching in the Galleries student docent program. Through this program, students learn about the Museum’s exhibitions and explore strategies to provide an interactive museum experience while earning academic credit. Twelve students at all levels of undergraduate study have been meeting weekly since early September with education staff to hear from curators, discuss articles on museum pedagogy, and practice different approaches to guiding tours. They worked in pairs—three pairs specializing in the permanent collection, three on the Chance Aesthetics exhibition—and on Friday and Saturday presented tours that explored various themes including social interaction in art, tension between process and product, and the relationship of the viewer to works of art in a museum setting.

Throughout the weekend parents proved an excellent first audience as all groups were interactive and eager to participate in discussion. In the coming weeks, student docents will continue to refine their skills and offer tours to alumni and school groups.

If you’d like to schedule a tour to explore our special exhibition and permanent collection galleries for with a group, organization, class, or family and friend, please contact the education department at or 314.935.7918.