Evaluation of the Case Method with an Emphasis in Energy Issues and its Applicability for European Higher Education

Evaluation of the Case Method with an Emphasis in Energy Issues and its Applicability for European Higher Education

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5998-8.ch017
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Every professor is searching to improve teaching techniques in order to transform the students into agents of change. This chapter proposes the hypothesis that the use of the Case Method (CM) is an effective strategy for improving education. It is a breakthrough to demonstrate that undergraduate students in finance learned how to use their financial skills in solving a pollution issue in the Mexican swine farmhouses through biomass conversion to fuels, keeping their profitability criteria at the same time. This was achieved through the application of the CM. Europe is very advanced in renewable energy technologies. Thus, the way the CM was applied in Mexico could be replicated with great success in Europe, for example through the visit to solar, biomass, or wind farms. CM surges as a hope to enhance education in Europe, with a plausible way to replicate it in all European universities. This is explored in this chapter.
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Do not imagine that the knowledge, which I so much recommend to you, is confined to books, pleasing, useful, and necessary as that knowledge is. In truth, they assist one another reciprocally, and no man will have either perfectly, who has not both. The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world….Books alone will never teach it to you, but they will suggest many things to your observation, which might otherwise escape you; and your own observations upon mankind, when compared with those which you will find in books, will help you to fix the true point. (Chesterfield, 1876, p. 435)


Literature Review

The existence of different approaches in education is good and inevitable. Each professor tells his own stories and experiences. In particular, Christensen et al. (1991) state that every person could learn the principles and techniques to be successful in group discussions, even though this is a complex task.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Agent of Change: A person, who always makes decisions based on ethics, develops positive leadership, is prepared to apply improved technologies, is concerned with sustainable growth requirements, and is successful in an aggressive, global, and competitive world.

Hog Excreta: Feces produced by pigs.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The Carbon footprint of any company. They are gases that pollute the planet and contribute to global warming, such as: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, among others.

Ethics in Finance: Finance Theory in service of human kind. The Financial Analysis of any project could be approached from a profitable point of view without forgetting the importance of values: responsibility, freedom, unity, creativity, respect to others, caring for the less privileged and caring for our planet. It triggers the process of re-thinking our attitude towards the earth.

Sustainable Development: Concept of seeking high economic rates of growth, considering the welfare of the less privileged and without harming the environment.

Citizenship: Transformation of the students into sensitive citizens of the world, concerned with the global warming dilemma of the century, among other important human rights values.

Case Method: The Case Method surges as a teaching strategy with the objective of making the students face the real world and learn through the analysis of real cases.

Educator: A professor who is convinced inside his mind and his heart that he is transforming persons and not only transferring knowledge.

Biodigesters: An installation that helps swine farmhouses solve a pollution issue through biomass (hog excreta) conversion to fuels.

Professional in Education: A professor that accumulates knowledge in order to teach a class.

Leadership: The initiative to create a better world through the positive influence of a leader, no matter the size of the firm the leader manages.

Carbon Bonds: Financial certificates approved by the United Nations when they verify the burn of one ton of CO 2 , and then are traded in the Stock Exchange Market.

Renewable Energy: Energy produced with a minor Carbon footprint than the one generated by fossil fuels.

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