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The Experience of Setting up a New Learning Environment Model in Management Education: Challenges and Frustrations


  • Jorge Santos

    (Federal University of Vicosa, MG, Brazil)

  • Simone Martins

    (Federal University of Vicosa, MG, Brazil)


The aim of this paper is to describe and to reflect on the experience of the authors in setting up a new model of learning environment in management education in a University in Brazil, which was initially called Management Practice Laboratory (MPL). The MPL environment was conceived as a physical and conceptual space where students could learn and practice the principles and techniques of working in organizations in its three levels: operational, tactical and strategic. The foundations of our project comes from social constructivist perspective on learning (Vygotsky, 1978), from experiential learning literature (Kolb, 1984) and from researches that calls for a new epistemological ground in management learning (Hounsell and Entwistle, 2005). In this paper, we will stress the challenges and the frustrations we had with the project since these could be helpful to those interested in initiatives similar to ours. The major challenges we faced were: a) to build the legitimacy of the project; b) to engage partners in the project; and c) to understand student’s motivation both as an individual and as a team member in the project. We also faced some difficulties that we could not overthrow. We will only mention two of these difficulties: a) the classic theory-practice academic dualism; and b) the lack of infrastructure to support the project. We conclude that there is room to innovation in the way one teaches and learns on management in Universities since one shows courage to overcome the challenges and frustrations one will certainly deal with.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge Santos & Simone Martins, 2012. "The Experience of Setting up a New Learning Environment Model in Management Education: Challenges and Frustrations," Knowledge and Learning: Global Empowerment; Proceedings of the Management, Knowledge and Learning International Conference 2012, International School for Social and Business Studies, Celje, Slovenia.
  • Handle: RePEc:isv:mklp12:665-670

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