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Magdalena Kachniewska and Anna Para

Tourism is perceived to be one of the biggest and fastest growing global industries. Consequently, there is an increasing need for qualified, highly educated professionals possessing broad knowledge and competencies as well as employability skills. This chapter explores hospitality employers’ expectations of the higher education system in Poland. The study advocates that the hospitality field of study needs to refocus in order to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment and industry’s needs. The purpose of the chapter is to identify the most significant gaps between tourism education and industry needs. The study confirms the outcomes of other research carried out within the tourism education sector. The research was conducted in 2013 in 103 hotels, with 147 managers being interviewed. The findings show that changes to tourism education may strengthen the employability and flexibility of graduates. The respondents stress the need and significance of personal qualities favouring service quality and the importance of an appropriate organizational culture (e.g. creativity, entrepreneurship, flexibility, conscientiousness, synergy). At the same time those qualities seem to be neglected in the education process, both in the merit and didactic dimensions.

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Tamara Young and Amy Maguire

Tourism courses are increasingly being taught only within business and management schools where the curricula tend to focus on workplace competencies. However, teaching and learning in tourism can, and should, provide critical opportunities that promote cultural learning and identity formation. In this chapter we consider how tourism educators can implement Indigenized curricula to educate students for social and curricular justice. Interdisciplinary and cultural competencies are essential tools for educators in this endeavor. An Indigenized curriculum incorporates Indigenous knowledges and perspectives throughout courses, signaling the commitment of educators and institutions to acknowledge the particularized and multiple discourses in tourism that exist beyond the common experience of many students. Efforts to Indigenize curricula aim to promote improved educational outcomes for Indigenous students, and to broaden the understanding and critical capacities of all students.

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Babu P. George

The present chapter provides some intensely personal reflections about the past, present and future of tourism higher education, with special focus on India. The author highlights forces of continuity and change in the historical development of tourism education. In addition to more trivial issues such as curriculum design, instruction and campus placements, deeper currents that manipulate the system such as authority and dogma are touched upon. Special mention is accorded to the historical factors that resulted in the current state of institution development and the future outlook. While no grand design is offered as a panacea for the largely unpleasant state of affairs, it is hoped that the discussion contained here will help clarify the issues better, which is the first major step in identifying meaningful solutions.

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Nicholas Wise

In disciplines such as geography and tourism, maps are inherently important, and knowledge of space and place is central to understanding key concepts such as regeneration. It has been noted that using visuals in the classroom further emphasizes practical and theoretical subject content. The purpose of the chapter is to overview the practicality of visual approaches by focusing on and providing examples of integrating Google Earth into the classroom for lectures and seminars. Images and perceptions of places can be transformed through visual learning techniques and technologies. Google Earth is a readily available resource and many academics have used this technology for research, but it is equally applicable to use in lectures to show ‘on the ground’ examples of the content being covered in class – to elaborate using up-to-date or more recent/relevant examples from around the world. Using this visual technology, educators have another way to display course content visually. It is possible to virtually visit and interpret places using satellite imagery and Google Streetview or to have learners add interpretations by labeling points or adding lines in Google Earth to address the complexities of examples to facilitate discussion. Several examples are used in this chapter: the first uses an example of an existing .kmz file with preselect points to navigate to different areas and the use of historical imagery (using Glasgow and Pittsburgh as examples). The second subsection gives overviews of a few examples to use in a seminar where learners make interpretations of the landscapes and input their perspective on regenerated areas in cities and uses of space around visitor attractions.

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Andrea Boyle

The body of knowledge as to what constitutes ‘sustainability’ in education is garnering interest. However, progress towards embedding sustainability principles in the curriculum space appears eclipsed by operational sustainability measures currently taking place at most Australian universities. Advancement of education for sustainability (EfS) in teaching and learning practices appears thwarted in many fields of study. This chapter presents findings from a qualitative study which explored tourism teachers’ perspective of EfS. Thirty-one Australian university tourism academics with an interest or experience in teaching sustainability concepts were interviewed. In part, the study aimed to uncover the dilemmas tourism teachers face with EfS and to ascertain possible future directions for EfS in tourism higher education. Analysis of academic comments revealed challenges located within two broad categories: (1) personal dilemmas and (2) dilemmas arising from the institutional context in which academics were located. Implications arising from the identified challenges are examined and several future directions suggested to help foster EfS. The question posed is how the lessons learnt from EfS research can be translated in order to provide meaningful, holistic tourism curricula and critical pedagogy. It seems that to develop the knowledge and future thinking capabilities of EfS, business-focused tourism programs need to undertake a paradigm shift from ‘business-as-usual’ curricula content and pedagogy, towards an approach that incorporates critical perspectives.

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Cathy H.C. Hsu

The importance of internationalizing tourism education is indisputable; however, documentation of the effectiveness of related activities is seriously lacking. The limited available evidence suggests that tourism higher education internationalization activities have been carried out on an ad hoc basis without a comprehensive strategic plan. Based on a review of the general education literature and current internationalization efforts of various tourism programs, the discussion focuses on several issues related to internationalization. The importance of coherent strategies and ways of offering an internationalized curriculum are reviewed first. The need for and ways of recruiting, retaining and developing faculty members who are capable of cultivating an international, multicultural learning environment are discussed next. Furthermore, examples of how to provide international exposure for students and models of international collaboration are proposed. Even with the understanding of the importance and different models of internationalization, barriers exist for institutions, faculty and students to realize their best intentions. To ensure that international efforts achieve the purpose of enhancing student learning, pedagogical planning, support services for students and faculty, and proper assessment mechanism are required. Based on the discussion, more tourism education research to document the advancement of tourism education internationalization and a systematic approach to these efforts are suggested.

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Ara Pachmayer, Kathleen Andereck and Rebekka Goodman

The purpose of this chapter is to explore study abroad programs as a tool to internationalize the tourism curriculum. Using contact theory, a model for intercultural competence and the theory of experiential education we provide a framework to design a study abroad program and identify effective teaching approaches. Future implications on the topic are also discussed.

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Kevin Griffin

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of current international practice in relation to fieldtrips, and thereby to explore the value of this pedagogical tool. The data were collected via an online survey of Irish based and international colleagues, and the results draw inspiration from the 152 respondents who generously provided the researcher with extensive feedback and reflections regarding their experiences on fieldtrips. The chapter explores some of the main findings from the survey including the type of fieldtrips that participants organize; participation by students; logistics, initiation and management of trips; educational elements including evaluation and assessment; and examples of best practice. The findings highlight that while firm pedagogical considerations are central to participants’ planning and undertaking of such experiential trips, their importance is often overlooked by colleagues and institutions. Despite the many institutional and bureaucratic barriers, such as funding issues, concerns regarding insurance, and health and safety, individuals are passionate about using fieldtrips to improve their teaching and to provide students with deeper, real life experiences. The chapter concludes with recommendations, particularly the need for institutions to acknowledge and support the often unrecognized fieldtrip efforts of practitioners.

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Nicolai Scherle and Dirk Reiser

Fieldtrips are an increasingly important component of university education. They provide an essential link between theoretical learning in the classroom and practical experience ‘in the field’. This chapter illustrates how fieldtrips can contribute to students’ ability to understand intercultural issues, especially in the context of tourism and hospitality courses. Experiential learning that is acquired in field excursions will be beneficial for graduates who will seek employment in increasingly internationalized markets. Tourism education especially requires a strong focus on intercultural understanding, and consequently is particularly well suited for studying the role of international fieldtrips in student learning. First, the conceptual understanding of educational fieldtrips is described and the new research areas of ‘intercultural competence’ and ‘intercultural communication’ are introduced. This is followed by a qualitative case study of a fieldtrip of German university students to Morocco, which incorporates these new concepts in order to exemplify the relevance of fieldtrips for developing intercultural competence. A general recommendation of the study is that fieldtrips should become a more important part of university education, especially in tourism and hospitality courses, because they equip students with the necessary skillsets for success in an increasingly internationalized workplace. As future employers and employees, university students in tourism and hospitality will therefore require courses on intercultural competence that will meet the demands of a rapidly evolving tourism industry. The case study provides an example of the knowledge and experience that students may acquire from cross-cultural fieldtrips. However, our findings also raise questions around the impacts of international fieldtrips on host cultures and to what extent these impacts are positive or negative.

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Anna Blackman and Pierre Benckendorff

There is substantial evidence that greater numbers of university students are mixing their studies with paid employment. The high rate of student participation in the labor market raises a number of interesting questions, particularly for those students enrolled in vocational programs such as business and tourism. Anecdotal evidence suggests that these students are developing a range of practical skills and knowledge about the world of work and the operation of real businesses. While a number of studies have explored the outcomes of placements and internships, there is little empirical research investigating what skills and learning benefits business students might gain from part-time work. More importantly, it is unclear whether students can easily connect learning in the workplace with learning in the classroom environment. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the role of part-time work in helping business students understand the world of work and in allowing them to integrate theory and practice. Business students from two Australian universities were surveyed mid-semester following a one-hour workshop designed to encourage students to reflect on informal learning and tacit knowledge acquired in the workplace. The results indicate that paid part-time work is perceived as a useful activity for developing a number of transferable skills, most notably interpersonal skills, teamwork and adaptability, numeracy skills, problem solving and communication. In addition, a majority of business students perceived some congruence between their work and academic studies. Part-time work appears to contribute to academic performance by developing business knowledge and skills that are transferable to university contexts and by providing students with a more grounded perspective which allows them to grasp abstract academic concepts more quickly and easily. If part-time work does have useful integrative learning outcomes for students and if appropriately designed pedagogy can assist students to integrate their experiences in the workplace with the curriculum then paid part-time work may be a useful alternative to more costly Work-Integrated Learning programs in business.