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The Case Study Presentations: Stories from Practice

The case study presentations can be undertaken as a plenary or small group activity. We might schedule 3-4 plenary case study presentations in a one week short course. We might expect to hear 2-3 stories from practice in a plenary case study session of around one hour. A faculty member can be appointed to organize and facilitate the sessions.

Case study presentations involve volunteers from among the course participants presenting a brief vignette from their activist practice: the local situation, their role, their challenges and the strategies. Accepted applicants are asked to prepare these presentations in advance of the course.

These presentations provide a focus on practice: how we conceive the challenges we face; how we strategise; the methods and skills of our practice. This is not about the big theory but about the micro strategies of practice. The presentations and discussions give us the opportunity to speak together about the details of practice and share our perspectives and experiences. These stories provide a shared set of case studies to which we can return in our ongoing discussions.

We are still learning how best to run these sessions. It is not always easy to focus discussion around the details of practice when there is deep human interest in the context and local issues. This is a challenge for the facilitator of this session.

If we are to focus on practice (and learn from this experience) we need to appoint perhaps two discussants for each case who will be responsible for initiating the discussion of the story and in doing so focusing our attention on practice.