Monday, December 20, 2010

Teaching by Design for Adjuncts

I have been leafing through “Law by Design for Adjuncts,” (Carolina Academic  Press). It is an excellent resource--and not just for adjuncts. Written by three of the most forward looking legal educators, Sophie Sparrow, Gerald Hess, and Michael Hunter Schwartz, the book is a streamlined version  of  “Teaching  Law by Design: Engaging Students from the Syllabus to the  Final Exam.”

 Like most law professors, I first entered the classroom with no guidance or instruction on how to teach. I had to figure it out on my own, at the expense of my students. A book like this would have been of immeasurable help. Here is the official blurb:

Professors Sophie Sparrow, Gerry Hess, and Michael Hunter Schwartz, three leaders in the teaching and learning movement in legal education, have collaborated to offer a new book designed to synthesize the latest research on teaching and learning for adjunct law professors. The book begins with basic principles of teaching and learning theory, provides insights into how law students experience traditional law teaching, and then guides law teachers through the entire process of teaching a course. The topics addressed include: how to plan a course; how to design a syllabus and select a text; how to plan individual class sessions; how to engage and motivate students, even those tough-to-crack second- and third-year students; how to use a wide variety of teaching techniques; how to evaluate student learning, both for the purposes of assigning grades and of improving student learning; and how to be a lifelong learner as a teacher.


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