Saturday, October 20, 2012

Case analysis framework - McNergney, Herbert & Ford (1994)

Sudzina, M. (1999). Case study applications for teacher education: Cases of teaching and learning in the content areas. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Sudzina (1999), p. 16-17:

Case analysis framework
1. Identifying the facts and issues in a case
2. Identifying the perspectives and values
3. Identifying the professional knowledge
4. Formulating action
5. Considering the consequences of actions

Cooperation and Competition in Case-Based Teacher Education
Robert F. McNergney, Joanne M. Herbert, and Rudolph E. Ford
Journal of Teacher Education, November 1994; vol. 45, 5: pp. 339-345.

We characterize reflection, or professional thinking, in terms of five steps: perceiving problems and opportunities, recognizing values that drive actions, applying knowledge, taking action, and examining consequences (McNergney & Medley, 1984; McNergney, Herbert, & Ford, 1993). Conceptually, the five steps are sequential. An instructor encourages the development of this kind of reflection via cases by drawing attention to:

• facts and issues in a case;
• perspectives of the actors (e.g., teacher, students, parents, principal) or the values underlying actions individuals take in the case;
• professional knowledge born of practice, theory, and research relevant to problems in the case;
• projected teaching actions; and
• likely consequences of projected actions.

Instructors trigger considerations of these factors in students by asking questions and offering their own observations.

In practice, the steps are not necessarily conceptually discrete, and they frequently do not proceed in linear fashion. For example, knowledge considerations may influence identification of issues; discussion may move back and forth between these steps. And consequences or desired end results might overshadow all other considerations and serve as springboards to discussion of other factors. While an instructor can recognize a path from one end of the reflective process to the other, she or he might not be able to trace a clean, straight line from beginning to end. We encourage teachers to reflect on events in a case as they might think about events in real life, but to do so with attention to the five factors.

McNergney, R. F., Herbert, J. M., and Ford, R. E. (1994). Cooperation and Competition in Case-Based Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education, 45(5), 339-345.

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