Getting Started

Is case method teaching an art or a craft? Although some instructors seem to be "born" case teachers, for most it is learned over time through careful study and practice. A critical first step for new case teachers is attitudinal: a willingness to become learners themselves. Instructors making the transition to case method teaching discover that knowing their disciplines is still a necessary-but no longer sufficient-condition for success. Their core role is no longer telling students what they need to know, but facilitating student learning in a discussion-based environment.

As with most new skills, proficiency in participant-centered learning and case method teaching requires instructors to devote considerable time to developing their capabilities. It involves a willingness to take risks and learn from the occasional setbacks and mistakes. Through an incremental process of preparation, practice, self-reflection, and peer and student feedback, instructors find that the case method allows their knowledge of, and passion for, their field of expertise to inspire and transform their students and themselves. Regardless of where instructors start on their journey, they can learn to master the art and craft of case method teaching.