Doing Comparative Case Studies
New Designs and Directions
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Comparative Case Studies: New Designs and Directions extends the comparative case study methodology established by Bartlett and Vavrus and employed in many areas of social research, especially in education.
This volume unites a diverse, international group of education scholars whose work exemplifies the affordances and constraints of the comparative case study (CCS) approach and offers new theoretical and empirical directions for researchers. In 11 engaging chapters, experts in comparative education, early childhood education, peace education, refugee education, special education, and teacher education discuss their use of the CCS approach to produce new ways of knowing and to address challenges of multi-scalar and multi-sited research. The first section, Conceptualizing Cases and Case Selection, emphasizes the importance of carefully selecting cases during different phases of research while continuously reflecting on how these choices influence the findings. The second section, Balancing Specificity and Generalizability, addresses the challenge of balancing the need for rich, deep data while including multiple sites. The third section, Enabling Processual Analysis across Sites and Scales, demonstrates the fit between the CCS approach and qualitative research that unfolds over time and space. Addressing the Transversal Axis, the fourth section, showcases research with a strong temporal dimension. The final section, New Directions, suggests inspiring and innovative methods.
Offering rich methodological examples and provocative discussion questions, this volume will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students in education and research design courses, and to scholars and policymakers in diverse fields seeking to design studies of complex phenomena at different sites and scales.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Case Studies with a Comparative Sensibility
Frances Vavrus and Lesley Bartlett
1. Making Discipline Reform: A Comparative Case Study of School Policymaking
Abigail J. Beneke
2. Meeting the Needs of Refugee Learners: A Comparative Case Study of Lebanese and Syrian Teachers’ Approaches to Educating Refugee Students in Lebanon
Elizabeth F. Adelman
3. Language Policy and Early Grade Instruction in Nigeria: A Comparative Case Study of Policy Awareness and Implementation
4. The Promise of the Comparative Case Study Approach in Understanding Educational Program Design and Change: Peace Studies Programs in Kenyan Universities
5. Comparison as Analysis, Interview Technique, and Relational Ethic: Findings and Reflections from a Study on the International Baccalaureate in Ecuador
6. The Promise of the Comparative Case Study Approach in Understanding Educational Program Design and Change: Peace Studies Programs in Kenyan Universities
7. Beyond Permanence and Change: Tracing the Transversal Axis of Community Development
8. The Evolving Discourses of Suzhi and Suzhi Education: A CCS Approach to the Study of Rural and Migrant Children in China
9. Ensuring Quality in Pre-Primary Education: A Comparative Case Study of Tanzanian Stakeholder Perspectives
10. Visualizing Research: Reflections from a Comparative Case Study of English Language Teacher Professionalism in Rwanda
Leanne M. Cameron
11. Negotiating the Purposes of Early Childhood Education and Care
Frances Vavrus is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota.
Lesley Bartlett is Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"Building on their groundbreaking and innovative comparative case study approach developed over the past two decades, Frances Vavrus and Lesley Bartlett offer another excellent contribution for education and social science researchers. This volume weaves together 11 insightful chapters based on research from around the globe—each followed by thought-provoking discussion questions—that illuminate the key methodological decisions made by the author and the broader methodological insights for scholars seeking to design their own studies." -- Dr. Monisha Bajaj, Professor of International & Multicultural Education, University of San Francisco, USA
" In times like these when uncertainty is the new normal and social systems are becoming more complex and dynamic, the comparative case study (CCS) approach is an innovative framework for the study of education. Lesley Bartlett and Frances Vavrus have assembled 11 chapters that demonstrate the utility of the CCS approach and extend its implications across the three – now famous – axes: vertical, horizontal, and transversal. Education researchers and social scientists more broadly will find this collection inspiring and useful." -- Dr. Oren Pizmony-Levy, Associate Professor and Program Director, International and Comparative Education Program, Department of International and Transcultural Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA