Edited by Pierre Benckendorff and Anita Zehrer
Chapter 27: Cultural and environmental awareness through sustainable tourism education: exploring the role of onsite community tourism-based Work-Integrated Learning projects
This chapter explores the potential of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) in promoting cultural and environmental awareness through sustainable tourism education. The chapter considers how an experiential framework built on an ecological paradigm provides a platform for WIL that not only exposes learners to concrete experiences, but also has the capacity to introduce them to authentic practices through interaction with industry and community leaders and players. Two case studies of WIL are presented from programs being run at the University of Georgia and the University of Technology (Sydney). These descriptive cases provide evidence of the different modes of WIL application, which are then used by the authors as a starting point for a discussion on the contribution of WIL to sustainable tourism education. The chapter concludes by considering the potential for such an approach to be embraced by higher education in less formal education contexts such as the gap year.
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