Empirical knowledge about the guiding profession and person-led guided tours in museums
Person-led guided tours play an important role in museums’ educational programs. With this scoping review, we take a critical look at existing knowledge based on empirically-based primary studies to shed light on the practices of person-led guided tours in museums, focusing on the tour leader and his/her work practice. Our review included 39 peer-reviewed papers from 1978 to 2018. Results indicate that the research landscape is scattered across different disciplines. We specified three main research topics (docent training, professionalism/expertise, tour performance) to which the reviewed papers could be assigned and made cross-references between studies. Consequently, the review reveals the very complex practice of person-led guided tours in museums. Our review closes with the discussion of implications for practice and further research, with the intention of advancing multidisciplinary empirical research on the guiding practice in museums and person-led museum guided tours.