Practice what you teach: teaching sustainable tourism through a critically reflexive approach

Erica Wilson, Southern Cross University


The use of critical theory, while gaining momentum in some areas of tourism research, is rarely extended to the teaching of tourism in higher education. This paper explores the role and value of critical pedagogy as it relates to how we teach tourism studies. In particular, the paper adopts a reflexive, autobiographical approach to outline my own efforts to build Critically Reflective Practice (CRP) into an undergraduate sustainable tourism class. In doing so, I aim to address concerns that there is little guidance on how to ‘do’ critically reflective practice. As such, practical examples are provided to assist tourism academics who are interested in incorporating CRP into their curricula. Ultimately, it is argued that CRP has the potential to transform the teaching experience, (re)motivate the lecturer’s enthusiasm for the teaching role, and provide a stronger nexus between teaching and research.