PublicationsBusiness Education Forum


Business Education Forum Highlights
February 2003, Volume 57, Number 3

Career Switchers: Those Who Can, Do, and Then They Teach - When a business "career-switcher"-a professional who leaves a job to become a teacher-joins a school staff, some are puzzled: "Why would anyone give up a higher salary and the tranquil company of other adults for the lively demands of young people in classrooms?" The answer varies, but many switchers say they do it to make a difference. They have something that students need and want, namely, a strong work ethic, a can-do attitude, and the willingness to accept challenge and risk, and they want to contribute to the world by sharing it. This article profiles successful business people who have taken that leap.

Spotlight on Teacher Certification - The good news for business people considering a career switch into teaching is that the traditional four-year teacher training programs are no longer the only pathways to state certification requirements. This article compiles resources on alternative certification, including licensure options for people with subject expertise, other degrees, military experience, or with paraeducator-status and seeking credentials via work-study and/or apprenticeships.



Ideas for the Accounting Classroom - Recent financial scandals have put the accounting profession under the spotlight. For professors, as well as practitioners, a period of critical evaluation is in order. This article serves as a resource guide to improvements for the college accounting curriculum. The ideas focus on sound decision making, field experience, ethics, and professional affiliation. These measures will improve students' readiness for the profession and encourage the adherence to professional standards.

Basic Business
Are You and Your Basic Business Students Asking the Right Questions? - Teaching basic business in the information age is both easier and harder than it used to be. Information is available to students like never before-more data, more facts, more theory. The challenge is evaluating it all. This article is concerned with teaching students to think as they sift: What critical questions should be asked about the reams of data? What class activities lead students to critically examine theories? What assessments best measure critical thinking? If learning is to take hold, the article asserts, these issues must be considered.

Teaching Students How Gestures Communicate Across Cultures - Employees who are prepared for the global marketplace will be more successful participants in it. In an international environment, business knowledge is just one requirement. The presence of cultural understanding between multi-ethnic business partners can make or break a deal, or determine the duration of a business relationship. This article categorizes gestures of the eyes, hands, and body used by some of America's trading partners and interprets their importance for mutual understanding.

Stimulating Entrepreneurship in the Classroom - While the presence of the Internet in every classroom has revolutionized the possibilities for future entrepreneurs, it poses a dilemma for some business teachers. When faced with replacing a well-crafted, print-based syllabus with an Internet-based electronic one, some instructors balk. This article describes a faculty research project that attempts to solve this problem. A "real-world" team project lets students launch and manage their own Web-based businesses, as one component of the existing syllabus. The results are very "entrepreneurial."

International Business
Cultural Sensitivity: The Key to Teaching Global Business Ethics - This article poses the question, "How can students be prepared to deal with ethical issues across the globe that may be complicated by religion, tradition, rituals, laws, and habits that make up a country's culture?" The authors offer guidance on choosing a company with a sound corporate culture and on identifying principles of ethical behavior that can apply in any context, while taking cultural differences into account. Resources and activities for the classroom are also suggested.

Marketing Online: A Guide for Entrepreneurs - Sixty-one percent of "brick-and-mortar" businesses are now selling their products on the Internet, in addition to selling at their on-location sites, and 93% of all businesses are using the Internet to provide information about their businesses. This article offers marketing instructors a thorough analytical and planning tool for e-commerce that they can incorporate into their curricula. Students learning about entrepreneurial ventures will find a "Web Site Analysis Worksheet" and advice about every facet of marketing on the Web.

Soft Skills: Are You a Walky-Talky? - Many employers now identify soft skills (verbal and written communication skills; critical-thinking capacity; leadership ability; teamwork competency, etc.) as being as important as subject expertise in hiring decisions. This article discusses the importance of the soft skills as a component of the business curriculum, and effective ways that teachers can model the skills in the classroom, so that students see someone who "walks the talk" when it comes to workplace cooperation and demeanor.

Speech Recognition: Its Place in Business Education - Voice recognition software is revolutionizing computer use for everyone-frequent users who deal with repetitive stress injuries, as well as people with injuries or chronic disabilities. To ensure the success of students who learn and use these products, teachers must become familiar with the available software packages and select the appropriate one for the classroom. This article offers detailed descriptions of the primary products available now.