Case-based studies: a critical pedagogy of place in international education in Iceland

Allyson Macdonald, Auður Pálsdóttir, Education in the North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines the pedagogy of a first-year university course, Educational settings, in the International Studies in Education Programme at the University of Iceland. The formal purpose of the course was to introduce students resident in Iceland to development and diversity in educational settings. The course was designed around case studies using elements from place-based education and a case-based pedagogy was selected. The chosen cases were deemed to offer opportunities to challenge students to learn from places in their past, present and future, and offered a range of formal and informal settings.
The experiences of three students, one each from 2008, 2009 and 2010, are analysed. They were selected as representatives of globalisation and international education. The data on the student experience were generated through an analysis of student reports, on-line discussions, a final written and oral examination and interviews with some of the students.
Interrogations of the case settings by students enabled them to engage in ‘shared spaces’, building their consciousness through reflecting on their own experiences as a context of learning, reinterpreting them, and developing their own personal vision. Through the case-based strategy of readings, discussion, on-site investigations of the cases and on-line and face-to-face interaction diversity and depth of experience in the group was revealed. Also a critical pedagogy of place students enabled students to engage in decolonisation and question traditional positions of knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-72
Number of pages19
JournalEducation in the North
Issue numberSpecial Issue
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013

Bibliographical note

The first author thanks all her co-teachers for their generous contributions to the design and content of the course and both authors thank all the students for their often exuberant contribution to the development and diversity of the setting in which we all participated.


  • Critical pedagogy
  • Place based education
  • Iceland
  • Design
  • International education


Dive into the research topics of 'Case-based studies: a critical pedagogy of place in international education in Iceland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this