Learning To Think Through Case Study-An Approach

Noble Prize Winner Albert Einstein once said “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” To learn and replicate the facts by mugging is one of the most popular means in the field of education be it at school or college.Learning through case studies however is very much a usual phenomenon among the students of Higher Technical Education, and especially those pursuing MBA qualification. It has been amply demonstrated through many cases that the Case Study Methodology of Teaching helps in the development of Critical Thinking among the students. But, it is also true that the present prevailing form of education in many catering colleges does not encourage the students in that direction. The argument that has been advanced against this Teaching Methodology has been that – first, the Hotel Management students do not possess that age and maturity for this type of learning,and second, hotel line is more of craft oriented than of critical thinking.In this scenario,Nerul based D Y Patil University’s School of Hospitality & Tourism Studies (SHTS) is, carving a niche by not only pursuing case study approach in teaching, but also by introducing many novel ideas into its pedagogical practices.Some of these include teaching through power point presentation,assignment of power point presentation on certain topics by the students and above all, there is a Virtual Classroom which is located within the University premises where the students get the exposure of the classroom teaching and participation in direct discussion with experts from across the globe. One such Virtual Classroom was held by Dr. Srikanth Beladona,Director of the Masters Programme of Hospitality Administration in the University of Delaware, Delaware,USA. The topic was‘Hospitality Marketing’and the discussion with the students had been held on the new models in the field of customer satisfaction. Dr.Beladona shared his knowledge, experience also detailed about his own research in this field. This was an experience for the students The School of Hospitality also connected their students through the Virtual Classroom to Prof. Melvyn Pryer, Director International Student Centre at University College of Birmingham,UK. Here the students could directly see the Campus of UCB, its various Practical Labs & Kitchens, Demon-strations and interact with the Hospitality Students there. It was an awesome experience for the students.The most interesting part is the Methodology of Teaching through case studies. The central part of this procedure is to invoke the process of critical thinking among the students.For example, in one case, it was shown to the students, an advertisement,where the advertiser tried to lure the reader to buy,though initially free of cost, his technique of making millions of money. The students were, then, asked to respond to the advertisement according to  their choice. The students were also asked to justify reasons of their particular choice.Through group discussion and brain storming,the class was led to think rationally and scientifically – the corner stones of critical thinking. This method not only helps the students to think critically but also out of the box, which is so essential for becoming a profession leader. Dr. Vijay D Patil ,President of D Y Patil University on the other hand felt as an educationist it is important for us to give the students a global view where students get an opportunity to interact one to one with the experts from the industry.

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