What a wonderful first day of the conference on ENGAGING AND ASSESSING OUR STUDENTS! NYU’s Peggy Cooper Davis presented the morning pleanary on “Allowing Relational, Social and Legal Issues to Intersect in Legal Education” along with a colleague from NYU’s Theatre Education Department. Conference participants were introduced to “process drama” as an effective classroom technique for leading students to greater understanding of a legal issue or of the application of legal issues in realistic lawyer-client situations. Attendees practiced the use of lawyer role assumption by student and non-intervention “push back” by the client- teacher not for the purpose of teaching the skill of interviewing but for the purpose of leading to greater professioal identity understanding .
I then attended a wonderful presentation by Thomas Cooley Professor Tonya Krause-Phelan on “Connecting the Dots: Stimulating Students to Love the Law” on theory, law, simulation, group work, and real practice on the first day in a first year criminal law class. My next adventure was into the future classroom including virtual reality, a presentation ably handled by Professor April Barton of Villanova. The program and handouts themselves are a treasure trove of good teaching tips. Go to above site and click on handouts.
While we are talking conference, who would be interested in coming to a conference on “Learning Objectives for the First Year of Law School” next March 23rd or 30th at my lovely home institution (Albany)? I think its time for folks of all perspectives, methodologies, orthodoxies and sensibilities to come together to discuss what should – and could – be ideal foundational objectives for the first year to better prepare students for the experiential and advanced learning of the second and third. Should experiential learning start in the first year? Should content knowledge dominate first year objectives? How best do we figure out the foundational objectives of critical reading, thinking and writing in a way which integrates the skills, content and professional identity Carnegie recommends? What are Best Practices for the first year?
Please let me know if you think this conference is a good idea, are interested in attending or presenting and/or if the dates sound good. You can contact me at email@example.com.
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