Work integrated learning as a component of the capstone experience in undergraduate law

McNamara, Judith, Kift, Sally M., Field, Rachael M., Butler, Desmond A., Brown, Catherine, & Gamble, Natalie (2010) Work integrated learning as a component of the capstone experience in undergraduate law. In Proceedings of the Australian Collaborative Education Network National Conference, Perth, 2010, Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN) Incorporated, Curtin University of Technology, Perth.

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Background: The “Curriculum renewal in legal education” project has been funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council with the core objectives being the articulation of a set of final year curriculum design principles, and the development of a model of a transferable final year program. Through these principles and the development of the model, it is anticipated that the final year experience for law students will provide greater opportunity for them to understand the relevance of their learning, and will enhance their capacity to make decisions regarding their career path. Discussion / Argument: This paper reports on the project’s progress to date, and presents an argument for the inclusion of work integrated learning (WIL) as a component of the final year experience in undergraduate law programs. The project has identified that the two principal objectives of capstone experiences are to provide closure and to facilitate transition to post-university life. Reflective practice and Bruner’s spiral curriculum model are the central theoretical foundations by which these objectives can be achieved. Experiential learning is also increasingly seen as an essential element of a capstone experience. WIL is consistent with the objectives of capstones in focusing on the transition to professional practice and providing opportunities for reflection. However, the ability of WIL to meet all of the objectives of capstones, particularly closure and integration, may be limited. Conclusions / Implications: The paper posits that while WIL should be considered as a potential component of a capstone experience, educators should ensure that WIL is not equated with a capstone experience unless it is carefully designed to ensure that all of the objectives of capstones are met. Keywords: Work-integrated learning, capstone, final year experience, law

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ID Code: 38036
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Published version freely available via Official URL.
Keywords: Capstone, Legal Education, Work integrated learning, ALTC, HERN, LJHERN
ISBN: 9780980570618
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law not elsewhere classified (180199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Australian Collaborative Education Network and the Authors.
Deposited On: 21 Oct 2010 05:41
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2013 22:55

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