(Un)Locating Learning: Agents of Change in Case-Based Learning

(Un)Locating Learning: Agents of Change in Case-Based Learning

Michael Tscholl, Uma Patel, Patrick Carmichael
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2166-4.ch002
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This paper presents an account of field research into case-based learning in a management course, guided by the questions: ‘what is making change in this setting’, and ‘where is learning located’. Multiple forms of relations between human and nonhuman entities were identified through extensive research, which, analytically does not sit well with more traditional understandings of learning or case-based learning. A critique of those understandings is offered, drawing on concepts from post-modernism and adopting sensibilities from actor-network theory, follow the action in the setting. The authors demonstrate that the case is an assemblage of heterogeneous connections that are made by the teacher and then by the students in the classroom. In working with ANT sensibilities, examination found that tracing the action offers radically different accounts and possibilities for education research and practice. The pragmatic issues in following the action and the challenge of staying coherent and ambivalent are acknowledged.
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The Case Located

The literature on case-based educational practices offers accounts in which cases have multiple roles and characteristics, and are tightly intertwined with specific pedagogies, in dependence of the domain, institutional aims, learning goals, and other elements. There is, though, a relatively small number of common characteristics and uses of cases. This paper does not require an exhaustive overview of the Case-based learning landscape, but two examples the Business Case Method, and the use of cases to learn/abstract stable knowledge structures – give a sense of the terrain.

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