Eurasian Center for Food Security (ECFS) has pleasure in inviting applications to participate in a one week train the trainer course for university teachers wishing to expand their teaching skills in the use of the case study methodology
Place: Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow
Date: 27-31 January 2020
Please submit your applications before December 1st, 2019
To make an application to participate in the 2020 course please complete the following steps:
1. Read the course outline below to make sure you would benefit from it and what to expect.
2. Prepare a one-page motivational letter indicating why you are interested in attending the course, what you expect to gain from it and how are you going to incorporate case study methodology into curriculum of your organization
3. Prepare a short CV in English which includes your current institution, position and teaching duties (courses taught, teaching methods used and hours of student contact).
Participants must be currently employed by an educational institution and be actively involved in teaching courses related to food and nutrition security policy at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Applications are welcome from professors in Russia and ECFS focus countries (Armenia, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan). Working knowledge of Russian and English are required.
Participants will be limited to a total number of 15 people. Places will be offered to applicants that demonstrate greatest interest in using the case study methodology in improving their teaching effectiveness and their students’ learning outcomes and who are likely to gain most from the course.
1. Background to the Case Study Methodology in University Teaching
Case studies in education were first used at the Harvard Law School in 1870 by C.C. Langdell. By the mid 20th Century this teaching method had reached widespread use in law, business and medical schools across the USA and other countries. More recently it has been applied in social science teaching, and notably on food policy in developing countries with an emphasis on the role of government in global, national and local food systems (pioneered by Professor Per Pinstrup Andersen at Cornell University).
Pinstrup Andersen employed a social entrepreneurship approach that involves participatory training based on classroom presentations and discussions of cases of real issues facing policy-makers. The course is used with upper- level undergraduate or graduate students in a variety of disciplines, such as nutrition, economics and agronomy, who have a basic understanding of economics. Typically, a course consists of a sequence of lectures and a set of over 60 real life case studies, which are divided by sub-topics and support specific lectures that relate to specific aspects of the food system.
The case-based form of reasoning is used to familiarize the students with the principles of their academic discipline and the types of problems they will confront eventually as professional practitioners. Using case studies exemplifies the basic principles, illustrates both recurrent and atypical problems, and offers discussion of practical solutions to those problems. Experience of case studies in the learning environment aims to guide future professionals through the types of situations they will eventually confront in their chosen workplace.
The case-based teaching method is a powerful student-centered teaching strategy that can impart students with critical thinking, communication, and interpersonal skills. Having students work through complex, ambiguous, real world problems engages students with their course material, encouraging them to see things from an action perspective, rather than analyze from a distance. Case studies are invariably multidisciplinary and help students bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Benefits to students of incorporating the case study method in course teaching are that working on cases requires students to research and evaluate multiple sources of data, fostering information literacy. It also assists in developing real world, professional skills as it demands good organizational and time management skills, increases student proficiency with written and oral communication, and requires good collaboration and team-working skills.
Investment in the professional development of teaching staff at MSU and other Eurasian Universities and Institutes to attain high competency in using the case study method would therefore not only optimize use of the body of work being developed by ECFS but would also enhance the student experience and their learning outcomes relevant to the professional working environment.
2. What to expect of the January 2020 course
The 5-day course will consist of a mixture of technical lectures delivered by MSU professors to bring participants up to speed on a given technical area related to food and nutrition policy followed by a case study experience relevant to the theme of the day taught by external experts in the use of case study methods. Throughout the course participants will be active learners and engage in role play to experience the case study teaching methodology from both the trainer and trainee perspectives. A considerable amount of group work in preparation for the sessions will be required by participants.
The course will be based around the existing set of case studies published by ECFS, although other case studies may also be used where suitable and relevant case studies are considered appropriate for the aims of the course.
3. Course objectives
On completion of the course participants will:
- Have a clear understanding of the benefits of using the case study methodology in university teaching;
- Have experienced the case study methodology as both teacher and student;
- Be able to prepare and deliver a case study session for use with students;
- Be committed to using the case study methodology in their future teaching work.
Please submit your applications before December 1st, 2019
Successful applicants will be informed they have been awarded a place on the course by 15 December 2019 and further logistical information will be sent to them, including requirements for pre-course work and preparation.
Costs of travel and accommodation in Moscow will be provided by the World Bank.
Find course announcement here. Please distribute information among colleagues!
Please feel free to contact the organizing committee directly: