Sunday, October 17, 2010

Scholarship alert: Using drama and stage acting to teach legal skills

That's the topic of this article from the most recent volume of The Journal of Legal Education - "Beyond Role Playing:  Using Drama in Legal Education" 60 J. Legal Edu. 147 (2010) written by three professors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Here's an excerpt:

Using drama in education is not a novelty. Educators have long used it to achieve a variety of pedagogical goals.1 Drama can be employed as a tool for research, reflection, and skill-building, from assigning students to read and comment on plays to asking students to write and produce their own plays.2 But beyond the use of role-playing to teach specific legal skills, the potential for incorporating drama in legal education has not been explored.
As the Chinese University of Hong Kong admitted its first class of law students in 2006, the faculty sought ways to showcase its emphasis on an active learning process. Toward that end, the staff wrote and acted in a mock trial drama for the University Open Day 2005, where prospective students and their parents visit different departments to learn about the opportunities that the university offers. The drama was intended to demonstrate the values and processes of the common law, as well as to illustrate the school’s commitment to innovation.

. . . .

It is suggested that there are three main ways in which drama could be utilized in the law school: as part of skills training through simulation and role play; as part of instruction in substantive law via the depiction of law or lawyers in film or theatre; and to help students explicate and analyze legal concepts by engaging students in a dramatic production. 

You can read the rest here.


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