Technology : new horizons in teaching law

Butler, Desmond A. (2011) Technology : new horizons in teaching law. In Kift, Sally M., Sanson, Michelle, Cowley, Jill, & Watson, Penelope (Eds.) Excellence and Innovation in Legal Education. LexisNexis Australia, North Ryde, NSW, pp. 460-496.

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17.1 Up until the 1990s the methods used to teach the law had evolved little since the first law schools were established in Australia. As Keyes and Johnstone observed:

In the traditional model, most teachers uncritically replicate the learning experiences that they had when students, which usually means that the dominant mode of instruction is reading lecture notes to large classes in which students are largely passive.

Traditional legal education has been described in the following terms:

Traditionally law is taught through a series of lectures, with little or no student involvement, and a tutorial programme. Sometimes tutorials are referred to as seminars but the terminology used is often insignificant: both terms refer to probably the only form of student participation that takes place throughout these students‘ academic legal education. The tutorial consists of analysing the answers, prepared in advanced (sic), to artificial Janet and John Doe problems or esoteric essay questions.

The primary focus of traditional legal education is the transmission of content knowledge, more particularly the teaching of legal rules, especially those drawn from case law. This approach has a long pedigree. Writing in 1883, Dicey proposed that nothing can be taught to students of greater value, either intellectually or for the purposes of legal practice, than the habit of looking on the law as a series of rules‘.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 46278
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Education technology, Legal education, Virtual worlds, Blended learning environments, Web 2.0, HERN
ISBN: 9780409328165
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 > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 LexisNexis Australia
Deposited On: 06 Nov 2011 22:06
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2016 16:37

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