The Central Issues of Case-Based Teaching

Some cases are more important than others. In most school systems, the importance of a case is a function of its centrality in some ideological doctrine. We typically teach students cases so they will believe certain things about their country, their religion, or their background. The reason for teaching a case from this learning perspective has to do with whether a case is paradigmatic. However, the reasons a case should be important should not come from ideology but from the case's ability to help students think.

This first issue in case-based reasoning is that a case should be important either because it contains important facts (perhaps it changed history), it is unusual (there is little to which to compare it), or it is paradigmatic (it represents a class of things that occur repeatedly).

The second issue is labeling. We cannot find what we haven't properly labeled. The significance of a case is an important part of the labeling of that case. Labeling determines what case will be found to be most relevant when we might need it, so how we label what we experience is critical to any future reasoning. We label in terms of the use of a case. Thus, a label like "Roman Conquest" is likely to be less useful from a teaching perspective than the label, "One of the greatest military blunders of history caused by lack of training."

Next Story Case-Based Reasoning in the Real World

Outline Where am I in the content of the book?

Give Me An Example

Give Me Alternatives

What Is Next?

What Led To This?

What Should Be Avoided

What Can Be Done?

Give Me Details

Give Me Background

Start Over Who Built Engines? Contact EFE Team ILS