literature-based learning

Using ethnographic research to improve students’ qualitative literacy

Mario SmallIn distinguishing fact from opinion, quantitative information is often seen as more reliable, but Mario Luis Small, Grafstein Family Professor of Sociology, wants students also to see the value of qualitative data for assessing such claims. In his course Qualitative Network Analysis, he requires students to analyze empirical research (including their own ethnographic cases) with a qualitative lens and thoroughly evaluate “authors who believe they’re making a defensible claim about some aspect of society.”


Library Reserves (Canvas)

Canvas, Harvard’s learning management system, allows instructors to submit requests for course readings to a supporting Harvard library.                                     

Teaching the Moral Leader: A Literature-Based Leadership Course

Whether instructors are interested in experimenting with literature-based learning in one course module or an entire curriculum, Sandra Sucher’s Teaching the Moral Leader is a practical guide, available through the Harvard Library and where books are sold.

Learning through literature: ‘Closer to life as it is really lived’

SucherSandra Sucher, MBA Class of 1966 Professor of Management Practice, teaches “The Moral Leader” at Harvard Business School with a literature-based approach. The MBA elective, introduced by Professor Emeritus Robert Coles in the 1980s, has since been taught by a number of HBS faculty. Each course meeting is dedicated to a work of fiction, biography, autobiography, or history, and the structured discussion forces students to describe and analyze the characters’ decision in context before passing judgment. “Students are brought much closer to life as it is really lived than they are in traditional lectures or case discussions."