Case study research, allows researcher to explore and understand complex issues. A researcher put one self in the shoes of the people where the study is conducted and is able to go beyond the quantitative data. Case study method has been used in many areas and disciplines. For example, in education an evaluative applications is used to explore the effectiveness of an educational program. To only limit to quantitative method, would make some of the important data in this study to become vague (Zaidah Zainal, 2007). A case study method prompt researcher to examine data closely within an explicit context. Size of the sample in the study is generally not a concern as case study can be perform to a limited number of individuals. The true essence of case study is to explore and investigate real life phenomenon that is in concern with the researcher and in this case alternative conception in secondary students.
Despite these advantages, case studies still have received criticisms. Some may say this research method provide very little basis for scientific generalization since they use a small number of subjects, some conducted with only one subject. The question commonly raised is “How can a researcher generalize something from a single case?” A common criticism of case study method is its dependency on a single case exploration making it difficult to reach a generalizing conclusion case methodology ‘microscopic’ because of the limited sampling cases. However, parameter establishment and objective setting of the research are far more important in case study method than a big sample size. Careful design of a case study is therefore very important. This is because case study method, through interviews or journal entries, must be able to prove that:
I. It is the only viable method to elicit implicit and explicit data from the subjects
II. It is appropriate to the research question
III. It follows the set of procedures with proper application
IV. The scientific conventions used in social sciences are strictly followed
V. A ‘chain of evidence’, either quantitatively or qualitatively, are systematically recorded and archived particularly when interviews and direct observation by the researcher are the main sources of data.
VI. The case study is linked to a theoretical framework(cite)
QUALTITATIVE DATA IS SUPPORTED BY QUANTITATIVE DATA
By including both quantitative and qualitative data, case study helps explain both the process
and outcome of a phenomenon through complete observation, reconstruction and analysis of
the cases under investigation