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ERIC Number: EJ847709
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0160-5429
Using Case Studies: An International Approach
McClam, Tricia; Woodside, Marianne
International Education, v34 n2 p36-45 Spr 2005
Case studies as an instructional strategy have been used in many disciplines, including law, teacher education, science, medicine, and business. Among the benefits of this method of instruction are involving students in learning, developing their critical thinking skills, promoting communication, and engaging in critical analysis. Case studies are also popular with students because they are typically written as a dilemma or problem faced by an individual, an institution, or business that must be solved. Often, it is the personal history or background of the individual or situation that captures students' interest and contributes to the strong appeal of the case study method. For instructors, the case study method is particularly useful as a way to begin and sustain class discussions, encourage the application of course concepts, and move students from simple to more complex thinking. The flexibility allowed by the case study method is also appealing to instructors in providing opportunities for students to advance at different paces, follow student interests, and promote creativity in problem solving. Cases with an international focus have additional benefits. Whether actual situations or imaginatively created scenarios, these cases support international and diversity initiatives promoted at most universities today. In the human service arena, international case studies highlight aspects of social services in other countries that expand students' thinking about problem solving, service delivery, and nontraditional helping strategies. And finally, regardless of the discipline, the international setting expands the world view of students and often moves them beyond an ethnocentric mentality. This article summarizes a case written by the authors that provides an historical perspective of a non-governmental agency in Mumbai, India. The purpose of the case study is to identify the environmental factors that influence service delivery, expand students' thinking about human service delivery in other countries, and apply agency organizational terms such as mission, funding, and staffing. Often this type of material is considered "dry" by students. In this case, it is the setting of Mumbai (Bombay), India, that captures their interest.
College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 420 Claxton Complex, 1126 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996. Tel: 865-974-9505; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India