Vol. 2 No. 1 (1987)

The Case Method: An Approach to Teaching and Learning in Educational Administration Programmes


  • Educational Administration,
  • Teaching Methods,
  • Case Studies


One of the critical issues in the professional preparation and development of administrators at all levels of the education system is that of devising instructional strategies and techniques based on an integeration of theory, research and existing practice.

This paper examines the viability of the case method as a teaching/learning strategy in instructional systems geared toward the training of personnel who administer the various areas of the education system. The core argument in this presentation of that the case method provides the curriculum developer and/or trainer with a real opportunity to help the learner to become oriented towards administrative decision-making during the instructional process. This is possible in so far as its use facilitates the development of educational praxis - that is, the use of relevant theory for problem posing, reflexive thinking and informed practice. The following limerick highlights these essential purposes of the case as an instructional tool:

A student of administration with tact
Absorbed many answers he lacked
But acquiring a job,
He said with a sob,
"How does one fit answer to fact"

(adapted from Gradd 1954, p 11)