Shulman, J. H., Colbert, J. A., ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher Education, W. D., Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, S. C., & ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, E. O. (1988). The Intern Teacher Casebook.

Contact Us

The Teacher Casebook was founded in 2018 by Nick Thompson and Kyle Jones, EdD

(Adapted by Thompson & Jones from Shulman & Colbert, 1988)

Case Manuscript Information, submitted to teachercasebook@gmail.com, including:

a. manuscript title

b. author’s or authors’ name(s)

c. 3-5 keywords

d. Maximum length: 1,000 words

e. Three body sections with the following titles: Introduction and Context, Events, Actions, and Outcomes, Discussion

Format and Style

Manuscripts should be in upper and lower case, double-spaced, with 1” margins on all sides. They should be in MS Word, or RTF format. Submissions must follow the style outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2009, 6th edition)—available from the American Psychological Association, Order Department, P.O. Box 2710, Hyattsville, MD 20784. You can also access this information at the Purdue Online Writing Lab site.

 

What is a Case Report?

A case report is a story about a particular event, experience, or relationship. It is a narrative which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The case describes what led up to the event and the consequences that followed the event. To the extent possible, it also describes how the participants in the event were thinking and feeling. It also briefly discusses theory and/or research relevant to the case. Example of a case report from medicine. The Intern Teacher Casebook by Shulman and Colbert (1988). Though case reports are reflective and useful for the author, they are not journaling. They are meant as quick-to-read reference material for an audience of practicing teachers who are searching for understanding about a specific aspect of their teaching practice.

 

Basic Structure of a Case

Title (informative) and Keywords (3-5)

Introduction and Context: Introduce the author and say what this case is about.

Events, Actions, Outcomes: What happened and what you did to address the issue(s)?

Discussion including what the research says and practical lessons for a teacher audience

  • Lessons: Think about the audience as a teacher with a question or a problem related to your case who is asking, “What should I do?” and try to help.

  • Research: Some guiding questions are, What does research/theory say about my case? or How does my case differ from what the research/theory says? or How does my case suggest a need for further research? This is not extensive, it just situates the case in the expertise of the field of education.

References

Two Types of Case Reports

Instruction-Type Case

Tell a story about a lesson or unit. What was the plan and the mental image of how the lesson/unit would go? Describe what occurred. Were there any surprises?

Sample Keywords: Writing, Reading, Mulitmodal, Problem-based Learning, Remixing, Podcast

 

Relationship-Type Case

Descriptions of interactions or relationships with students, colleagues, community, or administrators.

Sample Keywords: Behavior Management, Parent-Teacher Conference, School Culture

 

The most important factor is that the event about which you write is one that had significance for you and your development as a teacher and it has a lesson for teaching other educators who might read it. The case should probably be around 750 words.

Instruction-Type Case Structure and Content

Remember, the key is to provide only the relevant aspects of the case.

​An instruction-type case might consider the following*:

  1. You prepared a lesson during which you wanted to explain a new concept or teach a new skill. The kids didn't understand what you were teaching. Describe the event. How did the students respond? What did you do? As you thought about the lesson later that night, perhaps you came up with a new approach. How did it go? Why?

  2. Can you remember a situation where you had to teach a lesson or a unit that you didn't know anything about? How did you prepare yourself to teach? What resources did you use? Where did you turn for help? How did you teach the unit, step by step? How did you feel the unit went? If you were to reteach the unit, what would you do differently?

  3. Can you remember a nontraditional activity that you organised that didn't work? How did you prepare for it? What different alternatives did you consider for the activity? Describe the instruction as if you were writing a newspaper account or a short story. What would you do differently if you were to reuse the, activity?

*These are only a few examples, there are more experiences that could fall under this case type.

Title and Keywords

  • The title should be informative about the content of the case and convince the reader that the topic is important, relevant, and/or innovative.

  • 3-5 Keywords to help categorize the case

 

Introduction and Context (Suggested 200-250 Words)

  • Briefly describe your personal, professional, and academic background.

  • Concisely explain why you chose to highlight this event. Avoid teacher jargon and reliance on abbreviations. This should intrigue your audience and give them a preview of the content, so they can decide early if it is applicable to their teaching.

  • Describe both the size and location of your school (e.g. large suburban school in a Southern metropolitan area) and the socioeconomic diversity of your students. Consider: Are there any students on IEP or 504 plans that are relevant to the case? In what month,  season or semester did the event or interaction take place? What period of the day was the event?

  • If applicable, consider creating a diagram of the classroom in which the event occurred. Place the teacher's desk in relation to the students. Only include a diagram if the spatial relationships inform the point you are making through the vignette.

 

Events, Actions, and Outcomes (Suggested 400-500 Words)

Tell your story with a beginning, a middle, and an end as if you were writing a newspaper account or a short story.

Describe in sequence:

  • What were your goals for your students when you constructed the lesson?  (just a very concise discussion of the relevant elements of the plan)

    • include relevant learning objectives, what learning theory(ies) the lesson reflects, sources for the teaching methods, standards, and activity names.

  • What happened during the lesson? Chronologically present relevant events as they occurred during the lesson

    • If important, add when deviations from the plan occurred and what happened.

    • The trick is to be complete without obscuring the essence of the case with irrelevant details.

  • What resulted from the lesson?

    • How do you know your goals were or were not achieved?

    • Describe any surprises actions, conceptualizations, or products from your students.

 

Discussion (Suggested 200-250 Words)

Keep in mind that the best case reports are those that make a small number of teaching points (even just one) in clear and succinct language.

  • Cite current research or foundational texts that contextualize your case. What do the experts (theory and research) in the field of education have to say about the issues of your case? What about your case contradicts research or theory? How does research or theory fail to address your case?

  • What lesson(s) should a reader take from the case? Why is this important to teaching in general? What does this mean for your teaching? How can this be used to inform planning, instruction, and/or assessment?

Relationship-type Case Structure and Content

Remember, the key is to provide only the relevant aspects of the case.

 

​An relationship-type case might consider the following*:

  1. Have you had individual students or a small group of students that persistently acted out or refused to do work? You tried different things or used someone else's suggestions, but the kids continued to cause problems and (hove you up the wall. Or, your new Strategies paid off. Tell your story.

  2. Have you had any interactions with a mentor teacher, an administrator, or another teacher which made a real difference in your teaching? Alternatively, have you had an interaction that was ineffective or even harmful? Tell your story.

*These are only a few examples, there are more experiences that could fall under this case type.

Title and Keywords

  • The title should be informative about the content of the case and convince the reader that the topic is important, relevant, and/or innovative.

  • 3-5 Keywords to help categorize the case

 

Context and Introduction (Suggested 200-250 Words)

  • Briefly describe your personal, professional, and academic background.

  • Describe the relevance and importance of the case. Avoid the use of teacher jargon and reliance on abbreviations. This should intrigue your audience and give them a preview of the content, so they can decide early if it is applicable to their teaching.

  • Describe both the size and location of your school and the socioeconomic diversity of your students. In what month,  season or semester did the event or interaction take place? What period of the day was the event?

 

Events, Actions, and Outcomes (Suggested 400-500 Words)

What was the catalyst of the moment?

Tell your story with a beginning, a middle, and an end as if you were writing a newspaper account or a short story.

  • Avoid obscuring the essence of the case with irrelevant details.

  • What was the outcome from moment?

    • What changes in the relationship occurred as a result?

    • What changes in the school (e.g. classrooms, departments, clubs, whole school etc.) occurred as a result?

    • What philosophical changes occurred for you?

 

Discussion (Suggested 200-250 Words)

Keep in mind that the best case reports are those that make a small number of teaching points (even just one) in clear and succinct language.

  • Cite current research or foundational texts that contextualize your case. What do the experts (theory and research) in the field of education have to say about the issues of your case? What about your case contradicts research or theory? How does research or theory fail to address your case?

  • What lesson(s) should a reader take from the case? Why is this important to teaching in general? What does this mean for your teaching? How can this be used to inform planning, instruction, and/or assessment?