Blog

  • Business students and narrative recall

    The previous post provided some detail about a phenomenon that began to fascinate me more and more, at the time when real-world cases and anecdotes were taking center stage in my teaching. As I wrote previously, I had observed rather quickly that students were retaining information better and longer when we presented it in these narrative forms. Once I had clear evidence

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Why stories slide into our memories without effort

    We ended last time with the assertion that moving to narrative-based learning provoked significant, and truly positive, changes in my business school classrooms. As we saw, among the most noticeable benefits of teaching this way was that students’ retention of course material increased dramatically. This was an outcome I had anticipated from the beginning, though this “memory effect” turned out

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • How stories make lessons come alive

    As we mentioned toward the end of the previous post, there were a number of reasons why my students at the graduate school of business came to enjoy case-based learning. Among these reasons were some that I had fully anticipated. Others were surprising even to me. To better understand my fast-growing faith in the value of story-based learning, we should

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • When reality beats theory: why we learn so much from real-life events

    At the end of the last post, I commented that my decision to use the case method – where students learn primarily by studying real-life events – so extensively was met with skepticism on the part of higher-ups at the school of management in Grenoble. Fortunately, I already had a reputation as an effective teacher, with several years of consistently

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • How teachers can have a lasting impact

    The previous post closed with a question I have been ruminating for many years, and in a variety of settings. How can a teacher have a lasting impact?  In other words, how does one leave students with lessons and concepts that they will remember, and really use? When I was an MBA student at Stanford in the 1980s, I had

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • The power of using narrative in teaching

    About 20 years ago, when I was a professor at the Grenoble Graduate School of Business, I made the radical decision—to stop the use of slides in my classroom. Why do I consider this policy so “radical”? At that time, graduate school education in France was dominated by a traditional lecture format, where teachers present their ideas and students take notes,

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling