Using Aha! Moments to Understand Leadership Theory

As Huber (2002) noted, striving to understand how leadership is taught and learned is both a challenge and an opportunity facing leadership educators. This article describes the Leadership Aha! Moment assignment used in a leadership theory course to help students recognize the intersection of leadership theories and their daily lives while practicing their written communication skills. The assignment requires a paper in which students describe when they experienced something outside of class during the semester that made them understand something from the course on a deeper level. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the assignment is helping students connect with course content on a more personal level.

“What’s really outstanding about those moments is usually when you hear something like that, it’s – it’s – it’s reminding you of what you already know. That’s what the aha is, ‘cause it feels like, ‘I knew this; I just didn’t know the words to put it,’ you know? That’s what it is. That’s what’s fabulous about it.”
‐‐‐ Oprah Winfrey, The Oprah Winfrey Show, October 13, 2000