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Impacts of service learning on tourism students’ sustainability competencies in conflict-affected Bamyan, Afghanistan

Impacts of service learning on tourism students’ sustainability competencies in conflict-affected... This paper aims to investigate the impacts of service learning (SL) on teaching sustainability competencies in an undergraduate tourism program at Bamyan University, Afghanistan. This study reports on tourism students’ experiences in the SL course which taught five key sustainability competencies (collaboration, values thinking, action-oriented, systems thinking and integrated problem-solving).Design/methodology/approachThis paper assessed students’ perceptions of their sustainability competencies gained during the implementation of the course in 2016 and 2017 through focus groups, reflective essays and participant observation.FindingsThe results demonstrate how the SL experience led students to self-discovery, strong conceptualizations of sustainability and working relationships with community stakeholders.Originality/valueTo the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to assess the impacts of a SL course in Afghanistan. The analysis provides valuable information for developing effective higher education programs, relationships of trust between students and community stakeholders and the empowerment of students to contribute to local solutions which serve a role in stabilization efforts in conflict-affected contexts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Impacts of service learning on tourism students’ sustainability competencies in conflict-affected Bamyan, Afghanistan

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References (38)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1467-6370
eISSN
1467-6370
DOI
10.1108/ijshe-04-2022-0112
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the impacts of service learning (SL) on teaching sustainability competencies in an undergraduate tourism program at Bamyan University, Afghanistan. This study reports on tourism students’ experiences in the SL course which taught five key sustainability competencies (collaboration, values thinking, action-oriented, systems thinking and integrated problem-solving).Design/methodology/approachThis paper assessed students’ perceptions of their sustainability competencies gained during the implementation of the course in 2016 and 2017 through focus groups, reflective essays and participant observation.FindingsThe results demonstrate how the SL experience led students to self-discovery, strong conceptualizations of sustainability and working relationships with community stakeholders.Originality/valueTo the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to assess the impacts of a SL course in Afghanistan. The analysis provides valuable information for developing effective higher education programs, relationships of trust between students and community stakeholders and the empowerment of students to contribute to local solutions which serve a role in stabilization efforts in conflict-affected contexts.

Journal

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 26, 2023

Keywords: Service learning; Sustainability competencies; Tourism education; Conflict-affected; Bamyan; Afghanistan

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