The philosophic practitioner : tourism, knowledge and the curriculum
Tourism is an important and growing activity in the world. It produces significant impacts not only on businesses and the economy, but also on people and the planet. Tourism education at university level has grown just as rapidly as its target phenomenon. However, a vocationalist orthodoxy, focusing predominantly on business and the economy, is evident in the emerging curricula. Recent curriculum proposals in the tourism literature describe partial framings that legitimate this vocationalist trend. This thesis addresses concerns about what should be taught. Its initial review of methodological approaches to the design of the tourism curriculum finds that a philosophical approach to the problem is lacking. It therefore adopts such a philosophical approach and initially situates the curriculum amidst its related concepts of tourism and tourism knowledge. Here, the frill possible extent of, and contest for, the curriculum is revealed. Different types of knowledge, and alternative ideas of tourism compete for representation in the curriculum. Partial framings leave significant areas of the tourism world underrepresented in the curriculum. The thesis proposes principles for the ordering of a comprehensive curriculum for tourism higher education. The framework proposed comprises four key domains where vocational action is complemented by vocational reflection, liberal reflection and liberal action. The tourism world in which graduates are prepared for action is thereby extended from a narrow business setting to include tourism's wider society. This framework enables the case to be made, and the content outlined, for a tourism higher education which educates philosophic practitioners. These would be graduates who deliver efficient and effective tourism services whilst at the same discharging the role of stewardship for the development of the wider tourism world in which these services are delivered.