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Using Case Method of Instruction Effectively in Early Intervention Personnel Preparation

Snyder, Patricia PhD; McWilliam, P J. PhD

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The case method of instruction (CMI) is a viable instructional strategy for use in early intervention personnel preparation, particularly when the focus of instruction is to enhance learners' application, synthesis, and evaluation skills. The case method of instruction promotes decision-making and self-reflection through use of case stories, which depict real-life dilemmas early interventionists encounter in their interactions with children and families. Learning to use CMI effectively is not self-evident or easily mastered without guidance and supportive resources. In this article, we present information related to selecting quality cases, preparing for case discussion, facilitating case discussion, and evaluating learner outcomes. Strategies described have been field-tested and validated with 128 early intervention instructors who participated in intensive training designed to increase their knowledge about and use of CMI.

From the School of Allied Health Professions, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, La (Snyder)

The Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. (McWilliam)

The work described in this article was supported by the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs grant H324R980058. The views expressed are those of the authors, not the funding agency.

Corresponding author: Patricia Snyder, PhD, School of Allied Health Professions, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 1900 Gravier St, New Orleans, LA 70112-2262 (e-mail: psnyde@lsuhsc.edu).

©2003Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.