Chapter 10: Case studies

Read this article and then answer the following questions:

Flyvbjerg, B. (2006) ‘Five misunderstandings about case-study research’, Qualitative Inquiry, 12(2): 219–45.

In Chapters 4 and 5 of the book you will read about the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Case studies are generally considered to be qualitative research and therefore have no part to play in ‘scientific research’. This fascinating article explains that ‘science’ is strengthened by the inclusion of well-conducted case studies.

  • Consider the question, ‘Have case studies a part to play in “scientific research”?’
  • This is an example of a case study used in a clinical situation. It is a very common approach used to share clinical experiences and reflections.

Read this article and then answer the following questions:

Howell, K., Miller, L., Barnes, S. and Graham-Bermann, S. (2014) ‘Promoting resilience in children exposed to intimate partner violence through a developmentally informed intervention’, Clinical Case Studies, 14(1): 31–46.

  • What paradigm do you consider underpins this research?
  • What methodology was used?
  • What are the potential ethical issues here?
  • Think about some of the issues involved in using case studies.

Read this article and then answer the following questions:

Aubrey, C., Godfrey, R. and Harris, A. (2012) ‘How do they manage? An investigation of early childhood leadership’, Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 41(1): 5–29.

In this article, Aubrey et al. (2012) aim to investigate the nature of leadership in early years care and education. A collective case study approach was taken, looking at 12 early childhood settings in the UK. An interesting aspect of this research was the inclusion of a survey using a questionnaire, demonstrating how different approaches can be used to complement each other.

  • What were the detailed aims of the study?
  • What methodological approach was used when designing this piece of research?
  • Twelve settings were chosen: what was the sampling process?
  • What methods were used to collect data?
  • Summarize the findings.
  • What implications are there for practice?
  • The research was undertaken in the Midlands, an area of the UK. If you live in another country, how far do you think these findings can be applied to early childhood care and education in your country?