Culturally responsible curriculum development in hospitality, tourism and events management

This paper considers the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi (1840) to Higher Education in New Zealand and how this influences the educational experience of hospitality, tourism and event management students. The paper reviews the literature on cultural diversity, internationalization and curriculum development, the role of culture in educating domestic and international students, and how the acculturation Higher Education students experience as part of their studies might lead to a deeper understanding of culture and identity in the hospitality workplace. The gap in the literature concerns how a higher education curriculum can assist in the development of cultural awareness and an understanding of historical commitments. The paper therefore identifies a number of key principles which are regarded as essential to the identity of those living in New Zealand/Aotearoa. The paper then goes on to illustrate how these principles could be applied to Higher Education. It suggests that these principles enshrined in the Treaty of Waitangi are also worth considering when creating an inclusive curriculum which supports all hospitality, tourism and events management students, irrespective of ethnic background, culture or upbringing. Finally, this paper proposes a matrix of  ‘hooks’ - tools which academics can use to ensure their lectures address the needs of all learners. This matrix is developed from a study of the educational goals of the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (ToW), the founding document of this country. This research adds value by creating an awareness of the diverse environment in which academics and students operate, thereby enabling students to develop a cultural sensitivity to the international hospitality industry they will be employed in on graduation.

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