Engaging the Gen. Y Student: Curriculum, Innovation and Challenges
Curriculum and pedagogy have been central to many contemporary debates on fostering student success. These themes are evident in discussions from policy level to the staffroom in many countries, and are particularly relevant in the mass higher education sector in the Republic of Ireland. However, a narrow treatment of the term curriculum can prevent the development of new understandings and effective learning. Central principles have emerged in debates around curriculum and innovation, with
... nnovation, with 'student engagement' evolving as a focal point in the search for a solution to tackle what are perceived to be problems of student disengagement particularly associated with the 'Generation. Y' student. In the context of a hospitality curriculum, graduates must possess a diverse set of skills and behavioural traits to meet the demands of this dynamic sector. Curriculum-making is heterogeneous and fluid, involving different networks and stakeholders. Efforts centered on developing the hospitality curriculum are therefore varied, and can result in multiple approaches with often variable results, indicative of the many tensions between the prescribed and enacted curriculum. This paper examines whether an innovative, integrated and technology-enabled curriculum can help solve these challenges. In presenting the case study of the 'Get Smart!' initiative developed by the author, and the insights gained, it argues the case for a revised interpretation of the concept of a widened curriculum. Although many successes may be identified along the Get Smart! journey, notably the bridging of consistency and creativity, resistance has often emerged as a response.