Doing Research in Education

What are Case Studies?

A Dictionary of Education defines a case study as "a small-scale investigation (literally, a study of a specific case) in order to explore a theory or research question." As such, case studies tend to be an in-depth examination of a single educational context.

Using ERIC to Find Case Studies

The ERIC (Educational Research Information Center) database contains education research published in journals, books, and reports.

To find case studies, combine keywords for your topic and "case studies" as a Descriptor

eric search screen

For more relevant results, use the Thesaurus to find the search term used in ERIC for your topic.

eric thesaurus highlighted on search screen

Searching the Library Catalog

Case studies may appear as full books about education reform or school improvement. In the library catalog, use the Advanced Search to combine keywords for your topic and "case studies" as a Subject. Choose Resource Type: Books to limit results to just books.

advanced search screen

Some additional suggested Subject search terms:

  • Educational Change
  • Educational Innovation
  • School Improvement Programs