Date of Award

5-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Backman, Kenneth F

Committee Member

Backman , Sheila J

Committee Member

Baldwin , Elizabeth Betty

Committee Member

Reinking , David

Abstract

Globalization is reaching impacts never thought of before and intercultural competence, once the prerogative of restricted circles, has become a necessary attribute for all of those who intend to be successful in the world of enterprise including the travel and tourism sector. Yet, travel and tourism academic institutions face systemic shortcomings in offering intercultural education and training for their students. This research examined how an educational approach called a Formative Experiment (Reinking & Bradley, 2008) helped undergraduate college students develop intercultural competence. The purpose of the Formative Experiment was to design and evaluate an instructional intervention aimed at facilitating the development of students' intercultural competence in the context of a regular travel and tourism undergraduate university course. This Formative Experiment employed a scaffolding case study as the instructional intervention. The instructional intervention created metacognitive stimuli to promote the students' intercultural competence development. The results show that when using the scaffolding case study both the number of students and their levels of intercultural competence increase during the Formative Experiment; these outcomes suggest the achievement of the research's goal. This study also showed that even when students attend a class which focuses on intercultural competence instruction, they still need effort and time to develop their intercultural competence. The lesson learned is that intercultural competence is not innate, and that for this reason people must prepare to acquire it. In particular, this research indicated that the students develop higher CQ when they are able to make their own case choices, when they select small incidents, and when the material used in the travel and tourism class concentrates on CQ aspects. The final conclusion of this research, then, is that travel and tourism departments in higher education institutions must incorporate systemic and comprehensive intercultural competence education in their programs to prepare their students for the challenges of the 21st century.

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