Tailoring Case Studies to Fit Early Childhood Teacher Candidates' Needs and Experiences

January 2007

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 28, Issue 1 January 2007, pages 31 - 40

Case-based methodology has been a staple of teacher education coursework for many years. However, commercial case studies do not always meet specific teacher candidates' needs or match their experiences in school settings. Teacher educators in an Early Childhood program in a Midwestern university developed an innovative use of case-based methodology by writing case studies tailored for a specific group of students.

Research was conducted to determine if these case studies, based upon pre-assessment information about teacher candidates' knowledge and experiences with a topic, along with common characteristics of area schools, would be more effective than commercial case studies.

Analysis of the preservice teachers' case study responses showed a higher level of critical thinking skills and application of course concepts on the instructor-developed case studies than the commercial cases, suggesting this innovation may be a more effective approach in case-based methodology. Suggestions for teacher educators in writing their own case studies are given.

Updated: Jan. 27, 2008