Case Study Research in Educational Settings

Case Study Research in Educational Settings

Case Study Research in Educational Settings

Case Study Research in Educational Settings


This book offers new insights into the case study as a tool of educational research and suggests how it can be a prime research strategy for developing educational theory which illuminates policy and enhances practice.

Several different kinds of educational case studies are identified, namely: theory-seeking, theory-testing, story-telling, picture-drawing, and evaluative case study and there are substantial examples of each of these. The book develops the author's recent advocacy of fuzzy generalization.

Readers are taken through the various stages in conducting case study research, including a helpful account of data collection and data analysis methods. Each stage is underpinned by the concepts of trustworthiness and respect for persons. Structured, narrative and descriptive approaches to writing case study reports are also discussed and the value of conducting an audit is considered.

This will be a valuable text for students undertaking Masters and Doctorates in Education as well as staff in University departments of education and teachers carrying out small scale research projects.


I had never realized just how fascinating research was in its own right.
I was expecting the research methods course to be boring, difficult and
all about statistics but I couldn't have been more wrong. There is so
much to consider, so many aspects, so many ways of finding out what's
going on, and not just one way of representing it too. I have been really

(Student taking an MA in Educational Studies)

I never knew that there was so much to research. I thought that you just
chose a method, applied it, did your statistical sums and came up with
your findings. The reality is more complicated but so much more inter
esting and meaningful.

(Student taking an MA in Educational Studies)

The best thing for me was being told that qualitative research is 'proper'
research - providing it's done properly of course. What goes on in
schools is so complex and involves so many different perspectives that
I think you often need a qualitative approach to begin to get some idea
of what's going on.

(Student taking an MA in Sociology)

I really appreciate hearing about other researchers' experiences of doing
research. It was quite a revelation when I first became aware that things
don't always go as smoothly as some written accounts seem to suggest.
It's really reassuring to hear honest reports: they alert you to pitfalls and
problems and things that you might not have thought about.

(Doctoral student)

Comments such as these will be familiar to anyone who has ever taught or taken a course which aims to introduce the range of research approaches available to social scientists in general and those working in educational settings in particular.

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