Duke - The Fuqua School of Business

Teaching Principles

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Fuqua's 3 Pillars of Learning

The three pillars of learning at Fuqua include: decision making, innovation, and making a difference. This is how we believe business schools can really make an impact.

As an institution, we embrace a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching and research, and we employ various instructional methods so you can learn the most. We also are humble and believe we have much to learn as well as much to teach. In order to be great teachers, our professors must also be great learners and they embrace what you and the world around them has to teach. Finally, the pursuit of knowledge and positive impact in the world must be built upon a climate of integrity where you feel empowered to do the right thing and where you know how to lead by example.


With our multidisciplinary approach, you'll end up seeing the big picture, which is the ultimate goal of any general management education. A finance executive who doesn't understand marketing or an accountant who doesn't understand operations is a formula for failure. It's imperative that today's global business leaders, who have vast responsibilities, not only understand their own functional specialties, but also the functions adjacent to them. Fuqua professors collaborate in research and teaching and across their disciplines, which makes for a better, more integrated learning experience for you. Fuqua is also at the forefront of inter-scholastic work applying business knowledge to health, environment, and policy issues.

Mixed Modalities: Lecture, Discussion, Cases, Experiences

Not all methods of instruction are appropriate for all content and your professors will use the best methods for their course to ensure optimal learning outcomes. Typically, you'll learn through a mix of lecture, discussion, cases, and experiences. The case-based learning method challenges you to analyze business problems through an imperfect, real-life scenario. You'll use what you learn in class and what you know from your collective team experiences to recommend a solution. Several of your courses, in particular the multi-term Culture and Context course, will also rely on your experiences in-region because some constructs are best experienced rather than explained. And all courses will rely on lecture and active, multi-view discussions as well as a combination of individual and team assignments.

Teach as Much as You Learn

All of our professors insist that you be an active participant in the learning process. We foster an open classroom environment where deep discussions take place and involve everyone so you can learn from your classmates and vice versa. There will come a time when you face a finance or operations or marketing challenge at work. Mention it in class and receive instant feedback and advice from expert faculty and your fellow classmates, some of whom may have been in your shoes before.

A Climate of Integrity

Fuqua takes great strides to educate leaders of consequence--skilled in their roles and ethical at their core. All members of our community are governed by Fuqua's Honor Code. By electing to join our community, in turn, you will be expected to abide by our standards of honesty and integrity. These principles, simple in nature--don't lie, cheat, steal, or ignore wrongdoings--are a code of ethical conduct we also expect you embrace in your business life.

Read more about the learning environment at Fuqua.