Ways of Seeing Degrees of Leisure: From practice to pedagogy

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    In the context of higher education (HE), Leisure Studies has become an increasingly diverse, segmented and disjointed collection of curricula, driven by a fast-changing politico-economic landscape and the growing market potential of emergent sub-specialisms such as sport, tourism and event management. A decline in interest in, and perceived relevance of, the idea of leisure has seen Leisure Studies as a field fade from curricula at many universities. With issues of disconnect between leisure research and leisure practice cited as a major reason for the downturn in leisure-focused degree programmes, the challenges facing leisure scholars are inherently pedagogic: linking the fields of theory and practice in meaningful ways. Drawing upon evidence-based practice, this paper examines the philosophical and practical utility of leisure not just as a teaching object but as a pedagogic orientation; a profound way of seeing that ushers in a critical appreciation and understanding of the nature and significance of leisure in the lifeworld experiences of students. The ‘leisured' pedagogic orientation outlined represents one way experiential knowledge can be recognised and embedded in HE curricula, providing insight into the kinds of learning that might be effective in terms of enhancement of students' awareness of leisure and their development of leisure knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. This calls for the suspension of the traditional paradigms of thought relating to learning for leisure, in favour of a leisure pedagogy that is truly situated in the context of modern leisure in all its subtle complexity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)447-461
    JournalLeisure Studies
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2012


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