Faculty Publications - College of Business

Document Type


Publication Date



Excerpt: "Sam had just finished teaching a class and was feeling discouraged. Her students seemed disengaged, sleepy, and uninterested. Their participation in the discussion was lackluster. They appeared eager to leave class and get on with their day. She felt unsure whether her teaching was connecting with the students: Did they get it? Were they really learning something useful? Did her teaching matter? For what seemed like the millionth time, Sam wondered aloud how she might build more engagement while making the course more practical and impactful for students.

As Sam returned to her office, she heard a commotion coming from Maria’s classroom. She paused at the classroom door to see what was happening. Her mouth fell open in surprise. Students were talking, interacting, and moving around the room. They seemed 100 percent engrossed. Sam assumed that Maria was leading an activity, but she had to look around the room to find Maria observing the class from the back. The students were leading the class on their own. This classroom did not look like any Sam had ever seen before; in fact, it looked more like a typical workplace environment with multiple teams engaged in projects. What could Maria be doing to make her classroom function that way? Sam made a mental note to talk to Maria to learn more."


Originally published as chapter two of Classroom as Organization. Eduard Edgar Publishing, 2020.


This is a draft chapter/article. The final version will be available in Classroom as Organization edited by Debby Thomas, forthcoming 2020, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.

Included in

Business Commons