Self-authorship development through tourism education: rethinking the outcomes of work-integrated learning

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Caldicott, J & Wilson, E 2017, 'Self-authorship development through tourism education: rethinking the outcomes of work-integrated learning', in P Benckendorff & A Zehrer (eds), Handbook of teaching and learning in tourism, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK, pp. 231-245. ISBN: 9781784714796


There are calls in tourism higher education for alternative learning models that will produce graduates able to cope with the personal and work-related complexities of the twenty-first century. This chapter explores the concept of ‘self-authorship’, commonly described as the capacity to internally generate beliefs, identity and social relationships, and its potential role in tourism higher education. A term not widely known in tourism education literature, self-authorship has applicability for a range of university disciplines looking to prepare learners for their future professional, civic and personal lives. In this chapter, we argue that facilitating the development of self-authorship can deliver a more liberal and reflective tourism curriculum. Work-integrated learning (WIL), a common component in tourism curricula, is discussed with regard to the role it can play in fostering self-authorship development. Whilst WIL is generally regarded as a way of increasing the ‘employability’ outcomes of tourism graduates, such a narrow view may overlook the potential outcomes of WIL. A self-authorship perspective may expand this view by encouraging learners to be more critical in their decision-making processes if underpinned by an awareness of their approaches to knowledge and relationships with self and others.