Using Case Studies in the Classroom

By Huntington Learning Center

If you teach an advanced high school class, you’re always looking for opportunities to help your students apply what they know and put theory into practice. Using case studies in the high school classroom can do just that.

What are case studies? Commonly used in business schools, law schools and medical schools, case studies set up real-life problems and ask students to answer questions about those problems. They can be short or long and are often based on actual situations, but their objective is to give students information to discuss, dissect, and use to develop solutions to the problem at hand.

Below are some suggestions from Huntington for how to use a case study in your classroom:

  • Have students identify the main problem or problems in the case study, possible courses of action, and obstacles.
  • Give students direction on how to think about and analyze a case based on your different course objectives. For example, you might have students think about how they would have approached a situation differently than those in the case study or weigh the pros and cons of different potential solutions to a situation.
  • After dividing students into groups, assign members of each group different perspectives to take.
  • Have groups present to one another after they have developed their analyses/positions.
  • After all groups present to each other, have a group discussion about common viewpoints and arguments made by your students.

Case studies are a great way to innovate in your classroom and prepare your students for college-level academics. Read more about case studies as discussed by Carnegie Mellon University’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation.


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