Junior Docent: People who Bridge the Generations and Eras of Heritage Interpretation

28 Aug 2023

Interpreting Heritage, Capturing the Voices of People of a Generation and Time.


Have you heard of “Junior docent"?

Every weekend at the Natural Heritage Center, you can meet a unique docent tailored for children. These docents craft their explanations to resonate with young visitors, weaving in engaging stories. Bridging generations and eras, we interviewed with the junior docent, Sejin Jung!


Q. Can you give us a brief introduction and share what motivated you to support the children's docent activities?

Hello, I am Sejin Jung, the 7th generation junior docent at the Natural Heritage Center. I am in charge of explaining a “Bird” part of the center to visitors. I didn't spend lots of time to decide to apply to be a junior docent. Firstly, I've always been interested in natural heritage, and the opportunity to learn and share through this activity was very appealing. Plus, I have also always wanted to do it because my older sister, who was a junior docent, looked so cool, so when I turned 12, I applied!


Q. What is the "natural heritage" that the Natural Heritage Centre deals with?

-A natural heritage is not just about endangered species; it also includes plants and animals with cultural and natural significance, as well as academic value worth studying. Moreover, renowned locations with historical and scenic excellence are also included in the definition of natural heritage.


Q. What are your tips for dealing with the many visitors to the center?

My tip is to make eye contact and explain as if I'm having a conversation. If you just read the commentary, it can get boring, but I think it's better to make eye contact with the visitors to help them focus and understand.


Q. Is there anything in particular that you consider important when providing interpretation for children?

I think it's important to use simple words and familiar stories to explain things.

For younger visitors, I try to use simple words to make the interpretation easy to understand. For example, if I just listed how long a sparrowhawk is and there are different names for it, it would be difficult and uninteresting. That's why I use place names, and familiar stories that relate to what we're trying to explain.


Q. Do you have a favorite episode that you remember, and why?

My most memorable experience was with a group of three children. Because they listened to my interpretation and presentation more than any other audience. I met many people during my activities, but I think they were especially memorable.


Q. What does “Junior docent” mean to you?

“An important person with an important role!” I believe that a junior docent is someone who plays an important role in inspiring interest in natural heritage, not only among children but also among the various people who visit our center.


Q. What would you like to say to visitors to the Natural Heritage Center and to all those who love natural heritage?

"It's very important that you come here, that you see it, that you care about it, that you act on it." I think that caring about natural heritage is the beginning of conservation because first and foremost, people caring is essential for conservation. I hope that many people will visit the center.


Starting with Korea's natural heritage, we talked about the importance of natural heritage and preservation.


Stay tuned for the future of Sejin Jung, who will play an important role in raising awareness of the importance of natural heritage through communication with various generations beyond children and young people!

Junior docent, Sejin Jung explaining to visitors at the Natural Heritage Center.

Sejin Jung reviewing the docent scenario before meeting the visitors.

International Centre for the Interpretation and Presentation of World Heritage Sites

2107, Hannuri-daero, Sejong-si, Republic of Korea

T. +82 44 251 1000    E. whipic@unesco-whipic.org

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