Educational Functions of Cultural Heritage in Tourism: Jewish Cultural Heritage in Wroclaw, Poland

Educational Functions of Cultural Heritage in Tourism: Jewish Cultural Heritage in Wroclaw, Poland

Julita Markiewicz-Patkowska (Wrocław School of Banking University, Poland), Krzysztof Widawski (University of Wrocław, Poland) and Piotr Oleśniewicz (University School of Physical Education in Wrocław, Poland)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6258-0.ch008
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The cultural heritage of the city of Wrocław provides a perfect opportunity to practice educational tourism. It can serve to shape the desirable attitudes of acceptance and tolerance based on closer cognition of diverse cultures. The aim of this chapter is to indicate the tourist potential inherent in the Jewish cultural heritage of Wrocław. The culturally complex history of the city is analyzed, and then the most essential elements of the cultural output of Wrocław are presented in order to better recognize the background of the Jewish heritage. The following step is to locate the presented assets within the operating tourist products fulfilling educational function assumed to be within the city's tourist strategy. The products arise the interest of receivers of any age: from kindergarten children to seniors. Also, in this chapter, the authors observe good practices of the Four Denominations District (depicting a close coexistence of the Jewish heritage and the Christian world – Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox) or the City Museum of Wrocław, with the Old Jewish Cemetery as its division. The pedagogical, training, and cultural educational functions fulfilled with the implementation of the cultural product are emphasized.
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Travelling with cognitive aims constituted one of the main motives for tourist migration already at the dawn of tourism, and cognitive journeys became especially popular in the time of the Renaissance. Curiosity about the world started to shape specific tourist attitudes that have ultimately led to the emergence of what is contemporarily referred to as educational tourism. The process intensified with the civilizational development. The period of the Renaissance abounded with sightseeing travels or journeys of scientific character to the south of Europe. A special place on the map of educational tourism was Italy, the scientific and artistic center of the continent in those days. Another significant point in time in the history of tourism was the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, when the fashionable tourist journeys, especially among the inhabitants of England, were called Grand Tours. One of the leading motivations for travelling to the continent, most frequently to France or Italy, was the willingness to become familiar with the culture of countries recognized as the birthplace of the European culture. The eagerness to get to know other cultures characterized tourist travelling also in the following centuries.

Although the twentieth century was named the age of mass tourism, with the prevailing rule of 3S (Sun, Sea, Sand), the cognitive need still accompanied tourists. Within the recent three decades, the 3S model has even been perceived to change into the 3E (Education, Entertainment, Excitement). This is the so-called new tourism, with the educational element of a tourist journey coming first. Education is understood as cognition, training, and upbringing (Kaczmarek et al., 2010; Stasiak, 2015). In this context, tourism is becoming a form of support for the educational processes. Becoming familiar with the cultural heritage is a process that embraces also tourism. This development originates with the functions that tourism fulfils in contemporary world. The function of tourism is defined as the whole of the expected and real advantages of tourism development taken by the participants of the tourist traffic and by the inhabitants of the visited areas (Kurek, 2007). The literature about this topic enumerates many functions fulfilled by tourism. Although the listings differ in details, the authors almost always indicate the relaxational, healing, city-shaping, economical, ethnic, political, and ecological consciousness modelling functions among the main ones performed by tourism (Łobożewicz, 1996; Łobożewicz & Bieńczyk, 2001; Gołembski, 2002; Gaworecki, 2003; Kurek, 2007; Toczek-Werner, 2008; Alejziak, 2003, 2009; Panasiuk, 2011; Cymańska-Garbowska & Steblik-Wlaźlak, 2013). The pedagogical, training, and cultural educational functions seem significant for the educational character of tourism (Gaworecki, 2000). The pedagogical function assumes a direct contact with a new social environment, which translates into a specific attitude of a certain human nature. This refers to the whole impact on shaping the personal development of tourists during their travel at each stage of their personal growth (Kurek, 2007).

The training function constitutes an element of the pedagogical function. In the process of becoming familiar with the world, a tourist acquires a proper image of the visited towns and countries. In his contact with the environment, the tourist gains the relevant experience. A significant value of this wider cognitive process is its attractive form, provided by a tourist journey. In turn, the cultural educational function is perceived as a chance to popularize the contemporary output, and as a stimulus for tolerance, understanding, or acceptance. On this basis, Turos (2003) has suggested a definition of educational tourism that emphasizes the fact of conscious, planned, and orderly visiting monuments of culture and architecture, which allows to understand the history and mentality of the local inhabitants, as well as their cultural achievements.

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