Breakout sessions A & B: Using case studies to teach science...

Breakout sessions A & B:
Using case studies to teach science: Using the case discussion method to bring the real world into the science classroom

Saturday, October 11, 2003
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
1:30 - 3:00 pm

Juliette M. Lantz, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry- Drew University

This workshop introduces the Case Discussion or Case Study method, an active pedagogy ideal for all science disciplines. The case study method - often seen in business, law and medical schools - is a rigorous pedagogy focusing on prepared classroom discussion of a specific situation or dilemma to illustrate scientific principles and develop critical thinking and decision-making skills.

The workshop will examine what cases are and how the case discussion method works in the classroom. This will include discussion of the goals of this pedagogy, what constitutes an effective case, and different types of cases. Further, workshop attendees will participate in an abbreviated case discussion focusing on a township's decision regarding alternative de-icing substances for the new bridge and the implications of this decision. This case will illustrate how issues such as cost effectiveness, environmental impact and sustainability can be brought into a science classroom along with introductory chemistry principles. Experiencing the case method from the point of view of the student, with subsequent discussion of the case study process, will enable faculty to better understand and implement cases in their teaching. The workshop will provide many case resources, a bibliography of this pedagogical technique, and the preliminary assessment of the case discussion method.