Photo of Prof Elena Antonacopoulou

Prof Elena Antonacopoulou PhD

Professor of Organizational Behaviour Work, Organisation and Management

Teaching and Learning

Main Teaching areas: Strategic Organizational change, Organizational Learning, Dynamic Capabilities, Knowledge Management,Organizational Behaviour, HRM, Critical Thinking, Research methods

As a learning scholar, I have always approached my teaching responsibilities seriously and with more than a small measure of humility. In my view, teaching/learning is a journey of continuing development and, I hope, continuous improvement in both content and pedagogical process. My pedagogy has a deeply personal element to it. What and how I teach are seamless manifestations of who I am – a life-long learner.

As a teacher I am therefore, trying to create an environment where students can become liberated through their learning. My efforts revolve around one goal: to help my students develop their ability to think critically and be confident in dealing with the unknown and unknowable. Many educators view ‘critical thinking’ simply as a skill to be built. However, I would argue (as have others) that thinking critically is much more than the acquisition of a set of transferable skills. When students learn to think critically they become comfortable with uncertainty, they can move beyond the “taken for granted” aspects of professional curricula. In terms of curricula, thinking critically means understanding and then moving beyond disciplinary boundaries. Teaching managers to think critically draws attention to both reflexivity (understanding that I am both a product of the system, as well as an agent in its re-production) and pro-activity (taking up a stance, being intentional in my actions). The essence behind this philosophy is recognising the value of diversity both in perspectives, as well as in experiences that each student brings. Therefore, fundamentally thinking critically is a way of being.

At a minimum, my mantra of adding value seems to resonate with my students – I begin each course explaining that my personal goal is to leave each class session knowing that value has been added and challenge them to set a similar goal of leaving each class session feeling that value has been added to them and that they have added value to the class experience. Even the most sceptical student is interested in becoming more valuable!