Academic journal article Journal of College Science Teaching

October Salute

Academic journal article Journal of College Science Teaching

October Salute

Article excerpt

This special issue of JCST once again features a set of articles on the use of case studies in science assembled by Clyde (Kipp) Herreid, Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. As a result of Kipp's sustained work over many years on his monthly column and the annual special issue, JCST is a primary source for published case studies in science. Kipp's JCST effort is marvelously complemented by his national network to encourage the creation and use of science cases as well as by the workshops he leads.

What seems most significant to me is that these innovations demonstrate staying power, unlike many other instructional innovations that have long been forgotten or overtaken by new technologies. One reason the case method has persisted in business, medical, and law schools for so long and now promises to do the same in schools using them in undergraduate science courses is that cases provide opportunities for faculty to use their creative imaginations. Once you read about case use in JCST or take part in one of Kipp's workshops, you realize that there are many situations involving scientific challenges and puzzles you know about that can be converted into cases. Unlike cookie-cutter examples in texts, such problems often engage us and breed enthusiasm that is quickly transmitted to students. But there is more to it than just fun for us. Over the longer term, students who become involved in case analysis and the construction of solutions or approaches to the problems raised are more likely to remember them and become more confident in their own problem solving ability. …

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