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What’s Wrong With Case Studies? Pitfalls and Promises


by Lesley Bartlett & Frances Vavrus — January 11, 2018

In this research note, the authors show that the case study methodological literature does not reflect the divergent epistemologies that inform case studies or the iterative nature of non-positivist research. Authors then describe four ways to address existing limitations of the case study methods literature to create a more promising approach, which they call the comparative case study approach.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 11, 2018
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22234, Date Accessed: 2/19/2018 6:28:06 AM

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About the Author
  • Lesley Bartlett
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    E-mail Author
    LESLEY BARTLETT is Professor of Education at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her teaching and research interests include anthropology of education, comparative and international education, migration studies, and literacy studies. Her recent publications include Rethinking Case Study Research: A Comparative Approach (2017) and “Negotiating contradictions: educación among Dominican transnational mothers in New York City” (Ethnography and Education, 2017).
  • Frances Vavrus
    University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
    E-mail Author
    FRANCES VAVRUS is Professor of Education at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Her teaching and research interests include comparative and international education, comparative studies of teacher education, African education, and post-colonial theory. Her recent publications include Rethinking Case Study Research: A Comparative Approach (2017) and “Topographies of power: Critical historical geography in the study of education in Tanzania,” Comparative Education (2016).
 
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