Keeping students engaged in a large, lengthy class is challenging for any instructor. To help her students stay interested and focused, Julie Battilana channels her vigorous and infectious enthusiasm into each class session. In this video, Battilana describes how she uses movement to keep the class energy high, to connect personally with students, and to ensure that no students stay off her radar in class. The result is a non-stop, energetic case session that flies by for her students.
Julie Battilana, Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration (Harvard Business School), Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation (Harvard Kennedy School)
Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School
Power and Influence
Second year course
- Take notice of your own movement tendencies. Do you tend to stay near the board? Walk up and down the same middle walkway? Hover near the front row? Consider what and who you might be missing when you stick to these areas of the classroom.
- If your movement is restricted by the physical space, consider moving the chairs and desks to ensure you have multiple aisles to walk down or ask students to occupy the seats that are easiest for you to reach.
- In smaller classes, try enlisting the help of your students to keep energy high. Ask students to come to the board to illustrate their ideas or break into small groups to give students opportunities to tackle tough questions together.
- The University of Iowa’s "Stage-Blocking: Movement in the Classroom" guides instructors to apply stage-thinking to their classroom movement.
- Teach Like a Champion author Doug Lemov introduces the concept and importance of “breaking the plane” early and often in a short article.