Research Output

The learning style preferences of hospitality management students: observations from an international and cross cultural study.

  This paper reports on a study of the learning style preferences of new entrants onto hospitality and tourism programmes in Australia and the United Kingdom. It suggests that a majority of students on these programmes in both countries have strong learning style preference that present some challenges to educators and the planning of learning experiences in higher education. Typically these students prefer learning styles that are concrete rather than abstract, and active rather than reflective. Furthermore, substantial minorities register low or very low preferences for learning in abstract and reflective styles. The initial learning style of new entrants on to taught programmes, therefore, present substantial teaching and learning barriers for educators who are attempting to develop reflective practitioners. Inappropriate teaching strategies can present some genuine learning difficulties for these students. In Australia, educators face added complexity because students from Confucian heritage backgrounds display learning style preferences at odds with their piers. They are more likely to respond positively to abstract and reflective approaches but negatively to active and concrete teaching strategies. The authors suggest one way of approaching the learning needs of these students is to use Kolb's experiential learning cycle as a way of encouraging the development of ‘balanced’ learning strategies that lead to reflective practice.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    01 June 2006

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Elsevier

  • DOI:

    10.1016/j.ijhm.2005.03.006

  • ISSN:

    0278-4319

Citation

Barron, P. & Lashley, C. (2006). The learning style preferences of hospitality management students: observations from an international and cross cultural study. International Journal of Hospitality Management. 25, 552-569. doi:10.1016/j.ijhm.2005.03.006. ISSN 0278-4319

Authors

Keywords

Learning styles; Hospitality; Tourism education; Activist learners; Education management

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