Bedrettin Yazan, University of Alabama Follow Abstract Case study methodology has long been a contested terrain in social sciences research which is characterized by varying, sometimes opposing, approaches espoused by many research methodologists. Despite being one of the most frequently used qualitative research methodologies in educational research, the methodologists do not have a full consensus on the design and implementation of case study, which hampers its full evolution. Focusing on the landmark works of three prominent methodologists, namely Robert Yin, Sharan Merriam, Robert Stake, I attempt to scrutinize the areas where their perspectives diverge, converge and complement one another in varying dimensions of case study research. I aim to help the emerging researchers in the field of education familiarize themselves with the diverse views regarding case study that lead to a vast array of techniques and strategies, out of which they can come up with a combined perspective which best serves their research purpose.
Anonymous Introduction When conducting research, there are many options in terms of methods and methodology. In educational research in particular, the case study methodology is one of the most frequently used, however it is often one of the most misunderstood. At first glance it would appear that an analysis of the case study method would be a simple process.
It is in fact quite complex. One of the reasons for this is that research methodologists do not always agree on the design and use of the case study. Similar to Yazan we will examine the case study methodology, comparing the views of the researchers when considering five aspects of case study research: Definition of a case study method Attempting to define the case study method is somewhat complex.
There are elements which are common to all of the researchers yet each also includes a distinct component based on their particular perspective. Stake, Merriam and Yin depict a case study as a bounded system, in which the researchers set out boundaries and make clear statements about the focus and extent of the research.
Merriam limits her definition mostly to include qualitative case studies which are her focus. She is quite flexible with her application of her qualitative case study strategy as long as the researcher has clearly enclosed the area of focus. However, the author argues that case study is a unit of study itself, since it can include a number of data collection methods, including surveys.
Data Collection and Analysis Skate discusses the use of exclusive qualitative data gathering tools such as, interviews, observation and document reviews. Moreover, Stake does not propose an exact starting point for data collection and analysis.
He agrees on implementing a flexible design to collect and analyse data since important adjustments or modifications may rise in the inquiry process of giving meaning to first impressions and final compilations.
This notion permits researchers to gradually focus on the issues as they emerge under direct observation without the necessity of a rigid study plan. By the same token, Stake introduces two strategies to analyse data: We believe this may be why she is not a fan of a pilot case study but more so a focus on piloting data collection instruments.
Yin proposes that a case study inquiry should rely on multiple sources of evidence. These include documentation, archival records, interviews, direct observations, participant observations and physical artifacts. Yin also proposes that a case study can include single or multiple cases, can be limited to quantitative evidence and should address the traditional concerns about case studies: Conduct the research rigorously Avoid confusion with teaching cases Know how and when to arrive at generalized conclusions Understand the comparative advantages of case study method.
She points out to the necessity to build high levels of trust and rapport when working with individuals. Similar to Yin, she cautions that, besides access to individuals connected to case, access to records and documents must also be ensured for optimal data collection.
In other words, it is a cross verification for investigating the phenomenon from different outlooks. Triangulation allows the researchers to have a trustworthy groundwork for the findings and the contribution of knowledge.A practical guide for designing and carrying out qualitative case study in education is provided.
How-to advice for managing all phases of case study research is included.
The focus is on case studies that draw from what is commonly known as the qualitative research paradigm rather than a. The case study research design have evolved over the past few years as a useful tool for investigating trends and specific situations in many scientific disciplines.
This article is a part of the guide. Introduction. When conducting research, there are many options in terms of methods and methodology. In educational research in particular, the case study methodology is one of the most frequently used, however it is often one of the most misunderstood.
The Case Study as a Research Method Uses and Users of Information -- LIS D.1 -- Spring Introduction Case study research excels at bringing us to an understanding of a complex issue or object and can extend experience or add strength to what is already known through previous research.
Case study methodology has long been a contested terrain in social sciences research which is characterized by varying, sometimes opposing, approaches espoused by many research methodologists. Despite being one of the most frequently used qualitative research methodologies in educational research, the methodologists do not have a full consensus on the design and implementation of case study.
Revised and Expanded from "Case Study Research in Education." Merriam, Sharan B. This book offers a resource guide for qualitative researchers in education, discussing data collection techniques, data analysis, reporting, and the issues of validity, reliability, and ethics.