Case study, case records and multimedia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Undaunted by theoretical debates which suggest the impossibility of realising the aspiration, case study research is essentially concerned with providing credible representations of reality. Case studies aim to give the reader a sense of 'being there'; whether this means seeing a classroom through the eyes of a child, a school through the eyes of a teacher, or education through the eyes of a parent (or more often, all of the above). Conventionally, research and evaluation have attempted this through the use of various forms of written text, usually heavily laced with quotations from interview transcripts, but current technologies bring to the scholar's workbench (and the teacher's desk) access to media previously available only to specialists. It is now possible for researchers (including teachers, parents and students) to use audio, photo and video media; to move beyond describing and interpreting to showing and explaining. This paper argues that a key theoretical resource available to us as we engage in this media shift is a set of ideas developed by Lawrence Stenhouse in the late 1970s around the idea of the 'case record'. These ideas are re-examined in the current context and some speculative comments offered about the ways in which we might move a step further in closing some of the gaps in Education between theory and practice, research and action, the present and the possible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-127
Number of pages19
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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