Making the Case for the Case Method

For those of you who are interested in the case method as a tool for teaching and learning, David Garvin of the Harvard Business School has an excellent article in the September-October issue of Harvard Magazine. Better yet, it is available online:

All professional schools face the same difficult challenge: how to prepare students for the world of practice. Time in the classroom must somehow translate directly into real-world activity: how to diagnose, decide, and act. A surprisingly wide range of professional schools, including Harvard’s law, business, and medical schools, have concluded that the best way to teach these skills is by the case method. [Making the Case: Professional education for the world of practice]

Garvin’s research and writing have focused on organizational learning long before it was a popular buzzword. This article offers extensive background on the origins and history of case method teaching as well as insights into how it is evolving.