As a community service project, Trey Morgan volunteered to coach a Book Quiz team of fourth graders at a local elementary school. As a college student majoring in education, Trey was excited for the opportunity to work one-on-one with children to prepare them for the competition. He felt it would give him a good indication of how much he would like teaching and whether he would be a good teacher.

The Book Quiz is a competition where teams of students read 10 books and compete with other teams, answering questions about the books. The teams have 10 weeks to prepare by reading the books and doing practice quizzes. Trey’s team members were selected by their teacher, who mandated that all students in her class be on a team. Trey spent an hour each week with his team. He made a chart, and as the students finished reading the books, he would put a star next to their name. He also established that the first student to finish all the books would get a prize. After three weeks, one of the team members, Claire, had finished five of the books already and was moving way ahead of the other team members. Shelby had admitted to starting to read four of the books, but “they were boring” so she stopped reading them. Marco, who announced at the first meeting that he would win the prize for reading all 10 books first, had read three of them, but his progress had slowed considerably. Every time a new star was added to Claire’s name on the chart, Marco became visibly discouraged and frustrated. Garrett, on the other hand, wasn’t progressing at all. He was still reading the same 80- page book he started the first week. Trey observed that during their meetings Garrett would get up frequently and move around the room. He also liked to spin in circles, often hitting the other kids accidentally with his swinging arms. When Trey tried to encourage Garrett to go for the prize, he shrugged and said, “I can’t win that. I don’t read fast like Claire and Marco.” At the six-week point, Trey panicked. His Book Quiz guidebook said that each team member should have read at least five of the books by now. Claire had only read one additional book in the past three weeks because she had joined the track team and had little time after track practice and homework for reading. Marco had read four books, but didn’t seem interested in any of the remaining books. Garrett finally finished the one he started, and Shelby had started them all but not completed one. Trey hadn’t even begun to quiz the students on the books because there was no point if they hadn’t read them. He did have Marco and Claire work together on the four books they had both read, writing questions and quizzing each other. With four weeks left, Trey has to figure out a way to get his team motivated and focused. He has given up any hopes of winning, but does want his team to at least make a good showing. As he tries to give them a pep talk, encouraging them to focus so they “won’t look like idiots in the competition,” Garrett interrupts.

“Who cares if we look like idiots?” he asks. “I didn’t ask to be on this team. I got put on this team. It’s a stupid competition.” Marco gets mad. “Garrett, we are going to lose because you and Shelby won’t read. I don’t like losing, and when we do, it will be your fault.” Shelby and Claire both start to cry, with Claire saying she feels awful because she can’t read as much anymore and she is letting everyone down. “I have too much to do,” she wails. Garrett gets up and spins in circles. Marco looks at Trey. “Aren’t you going to do something?” he demands angrily. Trey thinks to himself that if he does anything it will be to change his major to business.


1. Obviously, things are not working out well for Trey and his team. If you were Trey, how would you have proceeded from the beginning to help the team avoid or overcome its obstacles?

2. Based on the seven obstacles discussed in this chapter, identify which obstacles each of the team members (Claire, Shelby, Marco, and Garrett) is facing.

3. Some of Trey’s team members seem to lack motivation. Based on expectancy theory, how could Trey help his team members feel competent, get what they expect, and value what they do?

4. Based on how his team is feeling and doing, identify three specific things Trey could do to help his students.

1. Define the Problem

Describe the type of case and what problem(s) or issue(s) should be the focus for your analysis.

2, List any outside concepts that can be applied

Write down any principles, frameworks or theories that can be applied to this case.

3. List relevant qualitative data

Find evidence related to or based on the quality or character of something.

4. List relevant quantitative data

Find evidence related to or based on the amount or number of something.

5. Describe the results of your analysis

What evidence have you accumulated that supports one interpretation over another?

6. Describe alternative actions

List and prioritize possible recommendations or actions that come out of your analysis.

7. Describe your preferred action plan

Write a clear statement of what you would recommend including short, medium and long-term steps to be carried out.

8. Questions


Answer each of the questions related to the Case Study, each on a single slide. Begin each of your answers with a declarative statement that encompasses each specific question. Each answer should be one paragraph that answers the question as comprehensively as possible on a single, dedicated slide.