Case Study Research in Educational Settings

By Michael Bassey | Go to book overview

Part II Examples of case studies

Preamble to Part II

The three case reports given here illustrate some of the features of case study made in the book.

'The Nottinghamshire Staff Development Project 1985–1987' is a storytelling case study about both formative and summative evaluation. Data collection was mainly by (a) recorded structured discussions in groups, (b) documents, (c) recorded interviews and (d) questionnaires. A hypothesis arose during the formative evaluation and was tested.

'Classroom organization in primary schools' is a story-telling case study about three theory-seeking case studies and a theory-testing survey. Data collection was mainly by (a) classroom observation and (b) interviews. The three case studies lead to a fuzzy proposition and this is then tested and leads to a fuzzy generalization.

'What it is like to be a student on final teaching practice' is a picture-drawing case study of fiction based on fact. Data collection was by interview. The fiction is supported by both internal and external tests of trustworthiness.

These case studies are long. This is evidence that there was prolonged engagement with data sources and persistent observation of emerging issues, as discussed in Chapter 7. It is hoped that the accounts are sufficiently detailed to give the reader confidence in the findings. The studies were timeconsuming to prepare. All of this is a reminder to the would-be case study researcher that the path ahead is long, arduous and, as the Prayer Book says of marriage, not to be embarked on lightly.

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