Examining situational complexity is a vital part of social and behavioral science research. This engaging text provides an effective process for studying multiple cases--such as sets of teachers, staff development sessions, or clinics operating in different locations--within one complex program. The process also can be used to investigate broadly occurring phenomena without programmatic links, such as leadership or sibling rivalry. Readers learn to design, analyze, and report studies that balance common issues across the group of cases with the unique features and context of each case. Three actual case reports from a transnational early childhood program illustrate the author''s approach, and helpful reproducible worksheets facilitate multicase recording and analysis.
"Researchers in education and social science have worried for decades over how to study multiple cases of the same phenomena and come up with viable conclusions. Robert Stake''s careful analysis lays out the problems, the pitfalls, and the dangers of such an enterprise, and provides masterful, amply illustrated, easily understood, and reproducible solutions. All of us who study multiple sites will be grateful for this enormous gift, which analyzes and teaches simultaneously."--Howard S. Becker, PhD, author of
Writing for Social Scientists and
Tricks of the Trade
“Stake does it again: takes up a murky research problem, such as how to integrate multiple case studies that do or don’t have a common subject, and shows us how to solve it. This book could be the basis for a superb graduate seminar or simply the ''manual'' for a research team facing a dozen piles of results from case studies. It would also be excellent supplementary reading for a course in qualitative research methods that would provide students with an appreciation of the difficulties and possibilities of drawing conclusions from words.”--Les McLean, PhD, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (Emeritus), University of Toronto, Canada
"This book fills a major gap in the qualitative research and evaluation literature. Although multicase studies are a commonly used strategy, I know of no published work that provides a comprehensive, in-depth, and practical guide to the conduct of such studies. The book embodies the author’s extensive experience and deep understanding of this approach, and manages to be both groundbreaking and user-friendly. The detailed examples of case studies are a major strength of the book. This book would be appropriate as a textbook for advanced courses in qualitative or case study research, and also as a guide and resource for practicing researchers and evaluators."--Joseph A. Maxwell, PhD, Graduate School of Education, George Mason University
"Stake offers a very detailed, honest, and perceptive account of the methodology of cross-case analysis, and the dilemmas of generating both the ''case'' and the ''generalization.''"--Research Professor Ian Stronach, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
"Stake''s book provides the reader with hands-on experience in doing multicase research, offering theoretical insights, useful worksheets, and technical detail. The international Step by Step Early Childhood program implemented in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia is an ideal study area, with rich contextual data furnishing glimpses of the complexities of changing the patterns and ingrained practices of educational systems."--Henriette Heimgaertner, Bernard van Leer Foundation, The Hague, The Netherlands
Robert E. Stake, PhD, is a specialist in the evaluation of educational programs and case study methods. He is director of the Center for Instructional Research and Curriculum Evaluation at the University of Illinois. Dr. Stake is the author of Quieting Reform: Social Science and Social Action in an Urban Youth Program (1986), a book on Charles Murray''s evaluation of Cities-in-Schools, and three other books on research methods: Evaluating the Arts in Education: A Responsive Approach (1975), The Art of Case Study Research (1995), and Standards-Based and Responsive Evaluation (2003).