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Title: The educational value of fieldtrips in tourism education : a case of high schools in Pholela Circuit of KwaZulu-Natal
Authors: Zaca, Acquinath Kholeka Nombulelo 
Keywords: Educational fieldtrips;Experiential learning;Multiple intelligences;Authentic learning environments
Issue Date: 2018
The study was designed to investigate the perceptions of teachers and learner of the value of fieldtrips in the teaching and learning of tourism as a subject at a high school level. This study is underpinned by the experiential learning theory as well as the theory of multiple intelligences. The theories focus on the concept of instrumentalism in education on learning by doing, while also catering for the different learning styles. It explains how learning is translated into practice by describing how fieldtrips are able to cater for different learning styles and afford learners the opportunity to learn in authentic environments.
Fieldtrips are mentally and culturally enriching, rewarding and motivational to the learners. They also enhance the memory and critical thinking skills of the learners. Fieldtrips can be engaging leaving the learners with lasting impression if they are properly planned and linked to the learning outcomes. Fieldtrips also have the capacity to increase interest in the topic whether the learners have prior knowledge or not. In addition fieldtrips provide opportunities to study in real world settings. The above statements capture the advantages of using fieldtrips in teaching, learning and assessments activities especially in tourism education. The study used experiential learning and multiple intelligences as foundational theories because they were deemed relevant to the phenomenon of fieldtrips in tourism education.
The research used both qualitative and quantitative methods to data collection and analysis in order to satisfy the aims of the study to determine the educational value of fieldtrips in tourism education, in high schools under Pholela Circuit in KwaZulu- Natal. Data from teachers and Heads of Departments (HODs) were collected using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires were used to collect data from the learners. A total number of 142 learners participated in the research study from the high schools that were targeted. A total of 5 Teachers and 5 HODs were also included in the study.

The data collected from the responses were analyzed using SPSS version 24.0. The results are presented in descriptive statistics in the form of graphs, cross tables and inferential statistics. The most appropriate statistical procedures were used to make sense of the data acquired which resulted in the use of multiple methods to analyze the same data. Inferential techniques include the use of correlations and chi square test values; which were interpreted using the p-values. The researcher applied Pearson correlation in order to determine if a significant correlation existed between data.
Qualitative responses from semi structured interviews were analyzed according to the thematic framework approach, with data organized into categories on the basis of themes and concepts after which interpretations and discussions were done.
The result of the study revealed that there were numerous positive benefits that could be realised from using fieldtrips in tourism teaching especially in remote rural areas and learning which included, providing learners with experiential learning opportunities, active involvement in their own learning, and others The study also showed that tourism ought to be taught in an authentic environments to ensure quality education, relevance and to accommodate the entire learner and capture the attention of all the learners at least some of the time. The study also disclosed that fieldtrips lead to better attainment of learning outcomes, as learners show positive attitude and motivation towards tourism as a subject. It can also be concluded that fieldtrips improve learners’ social skills and improve relationships between the teacher and learners and among the learners, as they interact and learn together. In as much as there were some challenges peculiar to rural areas and the South African context, they are not insurmountable. Schools, circuits and the department could get together to formulate strategies to deal with challenges facing fieldtrips as an invaluable method of tourism teaching and learning.
Submitted for the degree of Master of Management Sciences (Hospitality and Tourism), Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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