The Case Study Approach

The case study learning approach to teaching has been instrumental in fostering students’ abilities to complicate their own social locations and beliefs and to identify multiple perspectives on varied social issues. Professor John Foran from the Sociology Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara has demonstrated through his efforts to build the “Santa Barbara School” of sociological case method writing and teaching, that using the case method creates an interactive classroom that requires students to build their own analyses, comprehend sociological complexities, and strategize around solutions to social problems. You will find applied exercises promoting engaged and participatory learning among students in both lower and upper division courses on your recently launched case study learning 101 website. Case study exercises involve assigning specified roles for students to perform in factual scenarios based on timely debates or social issues. These case studies can be used in a wide range of courses in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields including: Sociology, Political Science, Women’s and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Latin American Studies. You should feel free to modify these cases as appropriate for your needs as long as you properly cite the author and our project.

Water tower on Alcatraz Island during 1969 “Indians of All Tribes” occupation


POSTER SESSION at the 2013 American Sociologial Association’s annual meeting in New York City

Using the Case Method of Teaching To Promote Active Student Learning (Just Desserts reception).

Click here for PDF of the poster.

Funded by the Carla B. Howery Teaching Enhancement Grants Program from the American Sociological Association.