The Teacher Casebook is a collection of vignettes about about particular teaching events, experiences, or relationships. The best case reports are those that make a small number of teaching points (even just one) in clear and succinct language. In addition to communicating a lesson about teaching, they situate experience in the literature of the field of education and explore what the case means to teaching both generally and for teachers in their contexts. The casebook, then, serves as a reference for teachers to learn from the experiences and reflection of other teachers.
The Teacher Casebook is also a project meant to mine the knowledge that experienced teachers have about teaching for the purpose of sharing it with fellow educators through teacher case reports. We all have stories of teaching that help to reflect, problematize, and otherwise make meaning of this craft we love.
In his book The Art of Case Study Research, Robert Stake (1995) argued that “Naturalistic generalizations are conclusions arrived at through personal engagement in life’s affairs or by vicarious experience so well constructed that the person feels as if it happened to themselves. It is not clear that generalizations arrived at in two quite different ways are kept apart in any way in the mind” (p. 85). At its best, The Teacher Casebook is an avenue for authors to reflect on their personal engagement with teaching and for readers to gain vicarious experience.
This concept was inspired by a project completed in the late 80s that resulted in two published casebooks. Shulman and Colbert, the editors of The Intern Teacher Casebook (1988), wrote that “cases are used in many professions, both to prepare novices for their new role and to make available and accessible a body of knowledge. Unlike law and medicine, teaching traditionally has not had a case literature. Educators have not had a mechanism to accumulate the wealth of knowledge that teachers possess. As a result, we leave no legacy to those who follow us.” Help us build a legacy!
We started this legacy among Georgia English teachers, culminating with in-person conversations during a roundtable session at GCTE (See images below).