FAU ACE Students Bring Class Project to Life

FAU ACE virtual class meeting

by Teresa Crane | Wednesday, Nov 04, 2020

Florida Atlantic University Adult Community Education (ACE) students choose Edgar Schein as the subject of their Notables project, then they brought him to class for show and tell. Hannah Campbell, Matt Trask and Nicole Edwards invited Schein, renowned organizational culture researcher and contributor, to attend their virtual class presentation on the subject of Edgar Schein. The invitation culminated in a full hour discussion between Schein, his son Peter and 35 ACE students.

While team planning, Matt joked that it would be great to bring Schein to class like in the movie “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” where a time machine transported historical figures to a class presentation. Hannah pointed out that Schein, 92 years old, was still alive and their presentation would be via Zoom, a real-time transporter.

“Watching our Notables project come alive -- quite literally -- was never a part of the plan. I crossed my fingers for a few words of wisdom and all of a sudden there I was speaking plainly and authentically with Dr. Edgar Schein, this industry giant whose life we had spent weeks learning about and dissecting,” said Hannah Campbell.

Edgar Schein, Ph.D., is known for his ground breaking work on the Organizational Culture model focused on culture and its importance to the management of organizational change. His more recent work, “Humble Leadership”, co-authored with son Peter Schein, is based on an understanding of the constantly evolving complexities of interpersonal, group and intergroup relationships that require shifting our focus towards the process of group dynamics and collaboration. As a well-known theorist, Schein’s work is commonplace to leadership curriculum.

Susan Dennett, Ph.D., teaches Workplace Learning Development, a course designed for graduate students pursuing a degree in educational leadership at FAU College of Education. I am incredibly proud of these three students who took their course assignment to the next level and made their presentation come alive by having the courage to invite Edgar Schein to our virtual class. You cannot talk about Organizational Culture without talking about legend Edgar Schein,” said Dennett.

“Aside from getting his official permission to call him 'Ed,' the most impactful moment for me was observing his humble leadership in action,” said Hannah Campbell. “It's one thing to read about humility in a book, but to experience it in practice from a leader like Dr. Schein... that is something that will stay with me throughout my entire leadership career.”

An additional lesson in this class: “It never hurts to ask”.

The department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology at FAU College of Education has three program areas that look specifically at the development of leaders; the K-12 school sector, the higher education sector and those that work with adults and the community. The department offers a Master of Educational Leadership in each of the three program areas, a Specialist in Educational Leadership in the fields of K-12 Schools and Adult and Community Education, and a Doctor of Philosophy in all three educational leadership program areas.