Case method for public policy
Teaching in polarised times
This annual workshop, hosted by the Oxford Case Centre on Public Leadership, is for faculty at schools of government, leadership, and public policy looking to develop the skills of case method teaching. The theme for 2023 is ‘Teaching in Polarised Times’.
The case method is a pedagogy of active learning aimed at developing both academic and leadership skills. Through case discussions, students explore academic theories and hone decision-making skills as they analyse problems, consider alternatives and make recommendations to address difficult challenges. While the case method has long been popular in law and business schools, there is a growing interest in the use of cases in schools of public policy. This workshop is a unique opportunity to learn how to develop and teach case studies tailored for public-policy education.
This year’s theme focuses on using the case method amidst the background of polarised politics. Fears of growing political polarisation are impacting institutions around the world, including higher education; in the classroom, instructors must consider how to deal with moments of heightened tension. Meanwhile, many public policy schools are asking themselves what can be done to best prepare future public leaders for a polarised world. At the Blavatnik School, we impart upon our students the importance of building unlikely coalitions in order to produce better governance, and embedding the case method into our curriculum is one of the key ways in which we help students develop this vital skill. At this year’s workshop, participants will explore strategies for approaching difficult teaching moments, as well as thinking more broadly about using the case method to help students listen to and engage with views with which they may profoundly disagree.
The workshop will run over two half-days and participants can join either online or in-person for a hybrid experience. The programme includes practical tips for case method teaching, especially tackling challenging moments, as well as broader strategic discussions about using cases to bring faculty research into the classroom, particularly for schools of government, leadership, and public policy.
To develop and strengthen the skills of case method teaching, participants will:
To further explore how cases can be adapted for public leadership education, participants will:
Sessions will run from 2pm – 5.30pm UK time on 19 and 20 June 2023. The in-person programme includes lunches on both days, an Oxford dinner, and networking opportunities to share teaching experiences with other participants.
The in-person programme fee includes tuition, education materials, accommodation, and meals for the workshop: £1,095.
The online programme fee includes tuition and education materials: £795.
After the workshop, all participants will be able to use Blavatnik School cases in their teaching for free for three years.
If you are a Blavatnik School alums or have current teaching responsibilities in the University of Oxford, you might be eligible for a discount. For more details email the Case Centre team.
If you are interested in attending the workshop but are concerned about the cost of tuition, please email the Case Centre team with further information about your motivation for joining the workshop and any barriers to attending.
Since 2017, the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government has been adapting the case method to the unique needs of public policy education. Our team at the Case Centre on Public Leadership was recognised with the Outstanding Case Writer award by the international Case Centre organisation – the independent home of the case method. We use our cases to bring cutting-edge faculty scholarship into the classroom, thus marrying disciplinary research and policy teaching. Our case collection is available here.
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