Teaching Personal Epistemology and Decision Making in a Global Leadership Course

Jennifer Anderson-Meger
Viterbo University

Pamela Dixon
Viterbo University

This article describes an interdisciplinary teaching experience between two faculty members in an MBA course on global leadership. Critical systems thinking theory informed course design and activities. Detailed pedagogy, course competency assessment, and personal reflections are included. Faculty used quantitative and qualitative measures to assess students’ change in beliefs, attitudes, and competencies over the course. Data included written reflections from exercises, a quantitative pre-post measure of epistemological beliefs, and teaching reflections. Students reported gains in the importance of self-awareness, inter-cultural awareness, and complexity in decision making. Personal epistemology changes occurred, but less so. The course findings indicated that sense of self and one’s beliefs will impact decision making and openness to new ideas and information. The capacity of students to assimilate new information is connected to their ability to relate the material to their personal lives, values, and world views. Faculty reflections led to insights in how to teach critical systems thinking for epistemological development and decision-making.

Copyright © 2019, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education