Teaching and Learning Luncheon delivers best practices for business and management educators

Dec 21, 2012

A teaching forum hosted by the Beedie School of Business this past fall for faculty demonstrated once again why Beedie is recognized as one of Canada’s leading institutions not only in the realm of academic research but also for teaching and learning.

Held on November 2, 2012, the second annual Teaching and Learning Luncheon offered the school’s faculty members an opportunity to come together in a supportive and collegial environment to engage in learning and dialogue around compelling and forward-thinking approaches to management education.

The event was inspired in part by several professional development workshops attended by SFU educational consultant David Rubeli and Beedie School lecturer Shauna Jones at the Academy of Management’s annual conference held in Boston.

A morning keynote by Beedie Dean Daniel Shapiro underscored the importance of teaching in an international context. Globalization, maintained Shapiro, is an increasingly integral component to management education in terms of programming, content and delivery. Also, according to Shapiro, a major opportunity and challenge for organizations generally and educators specifically is understanding the linguistic implications of a global world.

The Beedie Dean also touched on two other critical themes prominent in higher education discussions today: experiential learning and the growing role of technology.

An event highlight from the morning was a faculty panel discussing how management educators teach in the context of making a difference for students, for community and for their academic disciplines. Panelists included faculty members Katherine Burke, Leyland Pitt, Stephanie Bertels, David Dunne and Carolyn Egri.

Pitt, who teaches using the case method and whose own cases are used around the world, including Harvard Business School, led a robust discussion around the benefits – and challenges – of the case method.

Some best practices discussed came from less formal pedagogy and approaches.

Burke – the Beedie School’s unofficial poet laureate – introduced poetry as a means to invoking intense thought and dialogue around a particular subject. As an example, Burke’s reading of the William Stafford poem “Travelling Through the Dark” precedes a particular class lecture devoted to business ethics.

Following the panel discussion, an inaugural World Café focused integrating new teaching methods into courses and programs. Jan Kietzmann introduced gamification as a personalized and perhaps more playful approach to teaching and learning, while Carolyn Egri explored the integration of scholarship and research within the classroom.

Stephanie Bertels, whose MBA and undergraduate classes regularly interact with companies and not-for-profit groups around sustainability issues, moderated discussions on experiential learning. Katherine Burke also hosted sessions on how teachers can make a difference both in classrooms and communities.