Making Learning Relevant With Case Studies

case study examples for school students

Case studies have been utilized for years by businesses, law and medical institutions, doctors on rounds, artists analyzing their work, and even artists themselves. All ages can benefit from case studies, which are similar to other forms of problem-based learning. They can be applied to any subject.

Begin with case studies and ask your pupils comparable questions to those in the case studies.

What strategies can we use to reduce food waste in the cafeteria?
What strategies can we use to encourage our school to compost and recycle more of its waste? What can our school do to reduce its carbon footprint, if you want something a little more complicated?
What can be done to increase the number of students who attend school?
Might you tell me how we can reduce the number of pupils who become ill during influenza and cold season?

By posing such questions, students can narrow down the topics that they want to learn more about. When researching the first topic, students may discover that they need to learn more about nutrition and food chains. When students raise logical questions about why they need to learn something or how they will use it in the future, they are more likely to succeed. Students learn most effectively when they can put the skills and knowledge they have acquired into practice. Case studies can assist them in accomplishing this.

We need to help students solve problems and prepare them for new jobs. This can be done by using real-world case studies to teach content and skills. It’s a learning method that encourages reflection as part of the problem-solving process. Similar to project-based learning but PBL focuses more on creating products for students.


A case study is essentially a problem that has many solutions. How does case study work in classrooms look? The case study is usually read by teachers and students then watch a short video about the case. The case study is then solved by students working in small groups or individually. To help students manage their time, teachers set milestones that define what students must accomplish.

Student reflection is a key component of case study learning. Bena Kallick and Arthur L. Costa’s Leading With Habits of Mind provide several examples of how this reflection might look in a classroom.

Journaling Students should complete an entry at the end of each work period summarising their efforts, highlighting what was effective, what failed, and why they were unsuccessful. It is more likely that students will succeed if they are given clear rules and sentence starters. Students should “choose the most significant lessons, anticipate how they could be applied to future circumstances, and then develop an action plan to improve their behavior,” according to Costa and Kallick.

While working on a case, students can conduct interviews with one another to share their knowledge and progress on the case. To assess students’ learning and progress, teachers can conduct individual or small group interviews with them.

Whether unstructured (students can discuss what they worked on that day in a think-pair-share or as a whole class), structured (using Socratic seminars or fishbowl debates) or a combination of both, student discussion is essential. Make sure you have a second group of students working in small groups to share the knowledge gained from your case study group.


  1. Determine the problem you wish to solve: It should be simple to locate and relateable to the students’ everyday life. It should be challenging enough to necessitate several answers while also being complicated enough to be solved from a variety of perspectives.

2. the reader some context: Think of this as a movie trailer or a book description. Hooking learners is a technique for assisting them in understanding the challenge.

3. A clear rubric is essential for producing high-quality end products. It may be possible to construct these definitions with the assistance of your students.

4. You can provide scaffolding to students so that they can explain their solutions more effectively. Depending on their degree of expertise and experience, you will need to put in a certain amount of scaffolding. A case study product can be created by merging evidence from numerous students to solve the problem. The final answer might be given in the form of a slide presentation or a written paper.


Many high-quality resources are peer-reviewed and are freely available online.

Linda Torp, Sara Sage, and their book Challenges as Possibilities write that elementary students especially appreciate the way they feel they are treated when they solve case studies. Researchers at the middle school level stress the importance of linking the middle school curriculum with student concerns and interests. High school students, according to Sage, find case studies “beneficial in preparing for their future.”