Case studies in educational foundations

Institutional Constraints and Deforestation: An Application to Mexico Study from: Following Norththis article hypothesizes that effective rural institutions may impose additional costs on tropical deforestation through agricultural conversion.

Case studies in educational foundations

Introduction Case study research has grown in reputation as an effective methodology to investigate and understand complex issues in real world settings. Case study designs have been used across a number of disciplines, particularly the social sciences, education, business, law, and health, to address a wide range of research questions.

Consequently, over the last 40 years, through the application of a variety of methodological approaches, case study research has undergone substantial development.

Change and progress have stemmed from parallel influences from historical approaches to research and individual researcher's preferences, perspectives on, and interpretations of case study research. Central to these variations is the underpinning Case studies in educational foundations and epistemological orientations of those involved in the evolution of case study research.

Case studies in educational foundations

Researchers who have contributed to the development of case study research come from diverse disciplines and their philosophical underpinnings have created variety and diversity in approaches used. Consequently, various designs have been proposed for preparing, planning, and conducting case study research with advice on key considerations for achieving success.

As a result, while case study research has evolved to be a pragmatic, flexible research approach, the variation in definition, application, validity, and purposefulness can create a confusing platform for its use. We begin with an overview of the history and evolution of case study research, followed by a discussion of the methodological and philosophical variations found within case study designs.

We end with a summary of the common characteristics of case study research and a table that brings together the fundamental elements that we found common in all case study approaches to research. Sociologists and anthropologists investigated people's lives, experiences, and how they understood the social and cultural context of their world, with the aim of gaining insight into how individuals interpreted and attributed meaning to their experiences and constructed their worlds JOHANSSON, ; SIMONS, Such investigations were conducted in the natural setting of those experiences with results presented descriptively or as a narrative MERRIAM, As a result, surveys, experiments, and statistical methods anchored in quantitative approaches were favored and considered more rigorous than qualitative designs JOHANSSON, The dominance of research using experimental designs continued through the s and s with quantitative empirical results considered to be gold standard evidence.

Case studies continued to be used during this time, however usually as a method within quantitative studies or referred to as descriptive research to study a specific phenomenon MERRIAM, This context led to a philosophical division in research approaches: Here, anthropologists practiced their methods on university cultures or by conducting lengthy case studies involving field-based observations of groups with the aim of understanding their social and cultural lives CRESWELL et al.

According to JOHANSSONRobert YIN followed this progress, and drawing on scientific approaches to research gained from his background in the social sciences, applied experimental logic to naturalistic inquiry, and blended this with qualitative methods, further bridging the methodological gap and strengthening the methodological quality of case study research.

He presented a structured process for undertaking case study research where formal propositions or theories guide the research process and are tested as part of the outcome, highlighting his realist approach to qualitative case study research.

While still qualitative and inductive, it was deterministic in nature with an emphasis on cause and effect, testing theories, and an apprehension of the truth BROWN, ; YIN, The integration of formal, statistical, and narrative methods in a single study, combined with the use of empirical methods for case selection and causal inference, demonstrated the versatility of case study design and made a significant contribution to its methodological evolution ibid.

The continued use of case study to understand the complexities of institutions, practices, processes, and relations in politics, has demonstrated the utility of case study for researching complex issues, and testing causal mechanisms that can be applied across varied disciplines.

Methods were required that could be used to explore factors such as participants' perspectives and the influence of socio-political contexts on curriculum successes and failures SIMONS, Development of case study research in education, focused on the need to determine the impact of educational programs and provide relevant evidence for policy and practice decisions that supported social and educational change in the United Kingdom and the United States ibid.

STAKEan educational psychologist with an interest in developing program evaluation methods, used a constructivist orientation to case study. This resulted in placing more emphasis on inductive exploration, discovery, and holistic analysis that was presented in thick descriptions of the case. Similar to STAKE, MERRIAMwas not as structured in her approach as YINbut promoted the use of a theoretical framework or research questions to guide the case study and organized, systematic data collection to manage the process of inquiry.

Key contributors to case study research and major contextual influences on its evolution are included. As the figure highlights, early case studies were conducted in the social sciences.

With the dominance of logical positivism from the 's through to the 's and 's case study methodology was viewed with skepticism and criticism. The development of grounded theory in the 's led to a resurgence in case study research, with its application in the social sciences, education, and the humanities.

Over the last 50 years, case study has been re-established as a credible, valid research design that facilitates the exploration of complex issues. Foundational Concepts While over time the contributions of researchers from varied disciplines have helped to develop and strengthen case study research, the variety of disciplinary backgrounds has also added complexity, particularly around how case study research is defined, described, and applied in practice.

In the sections that follow, the nature of this complexity in explored.The page you are trying to access has moved. The Connecticut State Department of Education has a new website.

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Staff | Emeritus Faculty. Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation. Jeffery Bieber, Ph.D. (University of Michigan) Associate Professor. Office: A Taylor Education Building. Element.

Case Studies

Description. The case. Object of the case study identified as the entity of interest or unit of analysis. Program, individual, group, social situation, organization, event, phenomena, or process. Education Building Steve Myran, Chair.

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