Educating for Democracy: Case-Method Teaching and Learning

Educating for Democracy: Case-Method Teaching and Learning

Educating for Democracy: Case-Method Teaching and Learning

Educating for Democracy: Case-Method Teaching and Learning

Synopsis

This book advocates the use of case methods to promote democratic teaching and learning. Part I speaks directly to teacher educators. The chapters in this part suggest how and why they might use case methods at pre- and in-service levels. Part II presents a set of cases and teaching notes designed to stimulate active consideration of democratic teaching and learning in elementary and secondary schools throughout the United States. These cases can be used with both prospective and practicing teachers.

Case methods in education--like those used to prepare practitioners in other professions such as medicine, law, and business--require learners to attend to detail and to exercise judgment as they identify and solve problems. Although each has its own unique variations, case-method approaches in all fields promote careful examination of professional practice. The cases in this book will help teacher educators think anew about many issues related to teaching and learning with cases.

Excerpt

This volume advocates the use of case methods to promote democratic teaching and learning. What is meant by "case methods" and "democratic teaching and learning"? Why are these concepts important enough to merit a book?

Case methods designed for teaching people how to practice a profession help learners examine and solve problems as they reveal themselves in real life. Although the problems can be pedestrian and exhilarating at the same time, their study via "case methods" must be, as the phrase suggests, methodical. Case methods in education--like those methods used to prepare physicians, lawyers, and business people--force learners to attend to detail and to exercise judgment as they identify and solve problems. Although each has its own unique variations, case-method approaches in all fields promote careful examination of professional practice.

Our sense of "democratic teaching and learning" is probably best revealed in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. In a language that is now out of step with our sisters, he suggested in general terms the kind of education that helps people look to the future with some reasonable sense of optimism and power over their own lives. "Education ... grafts a new man on the native stock.... And it cannot be but that each generation succeeding to the knowledge acquired by all those who preceded it, add-

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