Sunday, November 25, 2018
Three leading legal education scholars have posted an important paper on teaching and learning on SSRN. This article is likely to become a seminal article in legal education.
Fifty Ways to Promote Teaching and Learning by Gerald Hess, Michael Hunter Schwartz & Nancy Levit.
"Fifty Ways is a collection of faculty development ideas to support and improve legal education. The ideas fall into five categories: institutional and administrative support for teaching, adjunct professor support, feedback from students, collaborations with colleagues, and self-assessment, reflection, and personal development as a teacher."
From the Introduction:
"In 1999, the Journal of Legal Education published an important article for law schools seeking to improve the quality and quantity of faculty scholarly output, James Lindgren’s Fifty Ways to Promote Scholarship. Professor Lindgren detailed numerous ideas for improving scholarship and the intellectual life of a law school, reporting that at least one law school saw marked improvement in scholarly output after implementing a significant number of the ideas.
This article addresses the other side of the coin, teaching. Most law schools make claims about the high-quality instruction students will receive. And we believe that all law school faculties and nearly all individual law professors aspire to excellence in the classroom. This article focuses on the efforts law schools and professors can make to fulfill that aspiration."
"We believe that a law school that implements many of these ideas will significantly expand its approach to developing teaching excellence and those changes will improve students’ learning. Implementing these ideas can also change law professors’ experiences as teachers. Growing as teachers can enhance professors’ passion and enthusiasm, which, in turn, will further enhance their effectiveness. Implementing some of the ideas in this article can produce the opposite of a vicious circle (a joyous circle?), creating a culture of continuous improvement."
We will have more comments on this very important article in a few days.