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Subject: Accreditation


From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Saturday, April 24, 1999
This is in response to Jack Thompson's comments on European
discussions of means of professional development and accreditation.
While I agree in principle with the thrust of Jack's comments, I do
think there is a need for continued dialogue on both sides of the
Atlantic and between us on this subject.  To their credit, Janey
Cronyn and Dinah Eastop addressed the difficulties the individual
programs had in developing professional guidelines and attitudes for
students in the absence of an established accreditation paradigm.
That was in 1993 ("Professional attitude: the challenge to education
with particular reference to a post-graduate programme" IIC, Working
Group 21, pp721-726).

Since then this vacuum has continued, though in Europe there has
been much more work done on publishing texts, education materials
and theoretical tracts on conservation than in the USA.  You cannot
have a "recognized profession" without a recognized body of
literature, the central core of which is critical reviews (the group
of critical essays edited by Vincent Daniels, "Early Advances in
Conservation", 1988 should be a model and a regular series).

In the USA we have avoided the production of comprehensive texts
like the plague and substituted a plethora of symposium papers which
report on isolated and fragmentary aspects of the field.  The lack
of critical assessment of conservation treatments past and present
is striking.  Not only should a mature discipline have more books
like Mora and Mora on wallpaintings, but it requires a consistent
and comprehensive review of methods and outcomes.  This the field
lacks almost entirely.

This is a great undertaking, but some movement can be found as in
Tom Stone's evaluation study presented at San Diego.  There is no
other way for accreditation to stand than on assessment and one
cannot assess individuals without reference to a standard and
standards cannot be created without evaluation of practice.

Niccolo Caldararo
Director and Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:83
                  Distributed: Friday, April 30, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-83-005
Received on Saturday, 24 April, 1999

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