Friday, November 11, 2011
Matt Festa (South Texas), our blog leader, has posted Academic Research and Writing as Best Practices in a 'Practically Grounded' Land Use Course, 2 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. Online Companion 49 (2011). I am really excited to see the first of several interesting articles (full list here) coming out of the symposium that Matt, Jamie and several other Land Use Prof Blog contributors and readers participated in last Spring at Pace Law School. In it, Matt draws on the latest research in legal education best practices to show how land-use "paper" courses can engage students in rigorous legal inquiry across disciplinary boundaries. Here's the abstract:
Land use is a discipline that involves diverse academic, practical, and social perspectives; it is also an ideal subject for applying nontraditional teaching methods, including those suggested by the “best practices” movement in legal education. In this article - a contribution to the “Practically Grounded” conference on teaching land use and environmental law - I suggest that a scholarly research and writing focus can help students develop their practical and analytical skills and values while achieving “best practices” goals in the context of a doctrinal land use course. In the article I set forth a pedagogical basis for including an academic writing component in a doctrinal land use course; and I discuss the experience of teaching a large land use class with a significant research and writing component. The benefits from an academic writing focus may also apply to teaching in other doctrinal fields.