Promoting Powerful Ethical Engagement with Normative Case Studies: An Online Course

Thank you for your interest in Promoting Powerful Ethical Engagement with Normative Case Studies, a course created and developed by the EdEthics initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Course Registration:

Course: Promoting Powerful Ethical Engagement with Normative Case Studies (NCS)

Dates: March 20-June 9, 2023

Cost: $1,195 (individual); $900 (team, per person)

           Please email us at if you plan to register as a team. 




Meet the Instructors and Learn More about the Course:


Course Overview

As teachers, administrators, policy makers, and educational researchers, we are regularly confronted with ethical dilemmas. To support ethical deliberation of these hard issues, Dr. Meira Levinson (course instructor) and the broader EdEthics community have developed normative case studies—short, accessible, empirically-researched cases built around everyday ethical dilemmas in education.

This course offers you the opportunity to learn how to write your own normative case study that can be used to think through ethical dilemmas in your specific educational context. We will also spend time learning about the normative case study method, reading published normative case studies developed by Dr. Levinson and the teaching team, and analyzing and participating in case discussions.

In addition to writing your own normative case study,  you are helping to build a global network of practitioners and scholars engaged with the normative case study method. Together, we’re building the field of educational ethics to make schools more just places for all students.


Course Structure

Unit 1: Introduction to Normative Case Studies
Unit 2: Developing a Dilemma
Unit 3: Structure & Process
Unit 4: Writing Your Case
Unit 5: From Computer to Classroom


Instructional Details

  • Asynchronous learning (readings, videos, reflection prompts)
  • Class-wide discussion forum
  • 6 1-hr synchronous learning pod meetings
  • 5 30-minute synchronous meetings with Writing Fellow
  • Optional synchronous case discussion
  • Assignments with time-delimited deadlines (research memo, structure memo, normative case study draft & final product)
  • 3-5 hours per/week, including time to work on assignments and meet with peers/WF


Who Should Enroll?

  • Educators, state and district leaders, policymakers, students, and scholars interested in educational ethics, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Graduate students and university faculty
  • Case writers
  • Teacher educators


Course Instructors:

Meira Levinson: Dr. Levinson is a normative political philosopher who works at the intersection of civic education, youth empowerment, racial justice, and educational ethics. In doing so, she draws upon scholarship from multiple disciplines as well as her eight years of experience teaching in the Atlanta and Boston Public Schools. She is currently working to start a global field of educational ethics, modeled in some ways after bioethics, that is philosophically rigorous, disciplinarily and experientially inclusive, and both relevant to and informed by educational policy and practice.

Ellis Reid: Ellis Reid is a fifth-year doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His primary areas of scholarship lie in democratic theory, practical ethics, and education policy. In particular, his work focuses on the normative dimensions of school governance. Currently, Ellis is the Co-Chair for the Editorial Board of the Harvard Educational Review. Before coming to Harvard, Ellis was the Associate Director for Next Generation Scholars, a college-access program in Northern California.