Developing critical and reflective tourism practitioners through research-based learning

Rydzik, Agnieszka (2015) Developing critical and reflective tourism practitioners through research-based learning. In: VI International Critical Tourism Conference, 26-30th June 2015, Opatija, Croatia.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


This paper explores the potential of co-created and co-transformative learning to develop critical, ethical and reflective tourism practitioners capable of transforming tourism workplaces. It draws from a research-based learning project through which Year 3 students were involved in critical tourism research on part-time workers. Participation in the project enabled learners to become co-creators of knowledge and research collaborators. They actively engaged in debates on social justice, taking ownership of their learning and producing new knowledge.

Underpinned by critical tourism and emancipatory learning, this study is collaborative and participatory. Tourism scholars have challenged the traditionally hierarchical character of much pedagogic practice (Pritchard et al., 2011), called for a more critical approach in tourism pedagogy (Belhassen & Caton, 2011) and emphasised the value of co-created and co-transformative learning as well as its role in creating just and sustainable tourism worlds (Pritchard et al., 2011). This study is embedded within the University of Lincoln’s ‘Student as Producer’ initiative (Neary, 2010) and Boyer’s (1990) scholarship of discovery, where students engage in inquiry-based learning and co-research with staff, seeking to co-create new knowledge (Healey, 2005; Hodge et al., 2007). Fourteen final year tourism students took part in the study. The project was embedded within the ‘Social and Political Perspectives on Tourism’ module and learners were actively involved in all stages.

Utilising inputs from students engaged in the project, this paper explores learner agency and empowerment; experiences of co-transformation and new knowledge co-production; and the tangible and intangible outcomes of participation. It also examines collaboration and power relations between learners and the academic as well as the challenges of embedding critical tourism research into the curriculum, aiming to help students ‘deal more productively with the messy realities of the workplace and the limits of their profession’ (Belhassen & Caton, 2011: 1395).

Keywords:Critical tourism studies, research-based learning, Critical pedagogy, bmjholiday
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N840 International Tourism
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:18547
Deposited On:09 Sep 2015 04:53

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