Educating tourism students to have a sustainable mindset: A study into how universities can develop students' capabilities to have more complex understandings of sustainability
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In preparing future sustainable tourism workers, universities need to design curriculum that develop students' skills in critical thinking and foreseeing the implications of their actions with a sense of ethics and empathy. Research evidence indicates, however, that students often graduate without these skills. A possible reason for this may be the design of tourism curriculum based on weak conceptualisations of sustainability as opposed to strong sustainability. Another possible reason could be that educators are not successfully cultivating students' capabilities to think in more complex ways about sustainability nor do they adequately acknowledge the ways in which the students make sense of the concept. This paper highlights the need to examine the conceptualisations of sustainability currently being integrated into university undergraduate tourism courses. Further discussion proposes that an alternative curriculum approach, referred to as a learning study underpinned by variation theory, might improve students' understanding of sustainability.
CAUTHE 2015: Rising Tides and Sea Changes: Adaptation and Innovation in Tourism and Hospitality
© 2015 the Authors. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the conference's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Tourism not elsewhere classified