Case Study Research In Practice


Professor Helen Simons BA, PhD, DipEd, PGCE, AcSS, FRSA

Emeritus Professor

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Professor Helen Simons is Emeritus Professor within Southampton Education School at the University of Southampton.

Helen Simons is Professor Emeritus of Education and Evaluation at the University of Southampton. She specializes in programme, policy and institutional evaluation, qualitative methodologies, democratic evaluation and ethics across all sectors of education and the practice professions. In 2001 she was elected as an academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK, in 2006 became a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and, in 2009, was appointed an orator for the University of Southampton.

Qualifications & previous positions: Initially a trained teacher and psychologist, she received her BA degree (English literature and Psychology) and Diploma of Education from the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and her PhD in Applied Educational Research from the University of East Anglia, UK. Her research positions have included Senior Research Associate, University of East Anglia, UK and Senior Research Fellow, the Nuffield foundation, London. From 1977 - 1991 she was on the staff of the University of London Institute of Education first as lecturer, then senior lecturer in curriculum studies. She became Reader of the University of London in 1989 and in 1992 was appointed to a professorship in the school of education at the University of Southampton.

Evaluation and Consultancy: Professor Simons has conducted many external evaluations of innovatory programmes funded by both government and non-government agencies and directed numerous evaluation-training workshops - on case study evaluation, programme evaluation, democratic evaluation and institutional self-evaluation - both in this country and overseas. The countries in which she has worked include Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Iceland, India, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and the United States.

She is also an experienced consultant to ministries and organizations on setting up evaluation systems to monitor their policies and practices and to international agencies, such as the OECD and UNESCO, advising on curriculum and evaluation projects. For five years with European Commission funding, she directed a programme of evaluation capacity building and training in Poland and in 2007 was part of a team sponsored by Unicef to conduct evaluation training and capacity building in South Asia.

Further details on Evaluation, Ethics and other research interests are set out under the Research tab.

Creative arts: Helen has always been a passionate follower of the arts and, following retraining some years ago, introduced the use of poetry, narrative, image, metaphor and movement into her teaching and course evaluations. Currently researching the role of the creative arts in evaluation methodology, she also finds time to explore her own creativity through music, poetry and dance, as well as yoga and meditation.

Community Service: For ten years she was a trustee of Charities Evaluation Services, an agency dedicated to promoting quality systems, organisational development and self-evaluation in voluntary organizations and the Development School, an NGO specialising in social development for Central and Eastern European Countries. Currently she is trustee of Artswork, a youth arts agency committed to developing creative opportunities for young people aged 12-35.


Case Study Research in Practice explores the theory and practice of case study research. Helen Simons draws on her extensive experience of teaching and conducting case study to provide a comprehensive and practical account of how to design, conduct and communicate case study research. It addresses questions often raised by students and common misconceptions about case research. In four sections the book covers

- Rationale, concept and design of case study research

- Methods, ethics and reflexivity in case study

- Interpreting, analyzing and reporting the case

- Generalizing and theorizing in case study research

Rich with 'tales from the field' and summary memos as an aide-memoire to future action, the book provides fresh insights and challenges for researchers to guide their practice of case study research.

This is an ideal text for those studying and conducting case study research in education, health and social care, and related social science disciplines.

Helen Simons is Professor Emeritus of Education University of Southampton


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