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Educational Policy Studies News

UW-Madison’s Bartlett, Vavrus co-author new book, ‘Rethinking Case Study Research’

January 16, 2017

UW-Madison’s Lesley Bartlett and alumna Frances Vavrus are co-authors of a recently released book that examines a new and innovative way to conduct research of policy and practice across multiple social fields.

The publication is titled, “Rethinking Case Study Research: A Comparative Approach." It includes examples and activities from anthropology, development studies, and policy studies, and is written for researchers -- especially graduate students -- in the fields of education and the interpretive social sciences.

Rethinking Case Study Research book coverBartlett is a professor with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies. Vavrus earned her Ph.D. from the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction and is now a professor in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota.

According to a web page promoting the book: “Comparative case studies are an effective qualitative tool for researching the impact of policy and practice in various fields of social research, including education. Developed in response to the inadequacy of traditional case study approaches, comparative case studies are highly effective because of their ability to synthesize information across time and space.”

The preview continues: “In ‘Rethinking Case Study Research: A Comparative Approach,’ the authors describe, explain, and illustrate the horizontal, vertical, and transversal axes of comparative case studies in order to help readers develop their own comparative case study research designs. In six concise chapters, two experts employ geographically distinct case studies — from Tanzania to Guatemala to the U.S .— to show how this innovative approach applies to the operation of policy and practice across multiple social fields.”

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