Reflective Journals in Reflective practice: The field trip experience.
This paper examines the use of reflective journals in enhancing the learning experiences of field based courses. Journals are a useful tool for students to engage in critical reflection, both on theoretical material covered in lectures and readings, but also on individual experiences. This promotes self-awareness as well as the ability to communicate these thoughts clearly. Using examples from field trips conducted in Norway, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea and the corresponding student narratives, the paper uncovers issues facing their use in tourism education. In particular, the material demonstrates the wide variety of styles that can be used in these journals, and the challenges faced in integrating theoretical and personal insights. However, it is argued that this is a strength, rather than a shortcoming, as it encourages a skill set based as much on stewardship as employability. Furthermore the difficulties in assessing such items are raised, along with their use in course evaluation. Such initiatives reflect a balanced approach to the contemporary tourism curriculum, encouraging the development of 'philosophic practitioners'.
Association for Tourism in Higher Education Annual Conference