26 April 2014

Problem-Based Learning

Law can be taught with problem-based learning. Students may be given scenarios with legal implications and asked to produce solutions. Although there are prescribed techniques and standard approaches, this model offers the scope for individual learners to use their own research and answering methods. The key distinction with enquiry-based learning is the giving of a set problem. In later posts I explore how inventive students may combat even this mild rigidity. But in this post I simply explore two forms of problem-based learning.

19 April 2014

Enquiry-Based Learning

I begin with a statement about autonomy’s place in education: it is suggested that
intrinsic motivation is sustained by satisfaction of the basic psychological needs for autonomy and competence. (…) [S]tudents tend to learn better and are more creative when intrinsically motivated, particularly on tasks requiring conceptual understanding.1
Creativity is difficult to teach.2 Whatever facilitates student autonomy, in part due to its positive affect on creativity, is therefore valuable in the classroom. As enquiry-based learning (EBL) is designed to give students choices, EBL should be considered for its use in learning--whether by auto-didacticism, through an institution, or a in a mixture of the two. That application is central to this series on pedagogy. This post, which discusses EBL in legal education, is the first substantive essay in that series.

12 April 2014

Introduction to Open Education

This post is an introduction to some thoughts on enquiry-based learning (EBL). I intend to write a series on EBL’s primary structures, benefits and disadvantages, and EBL’s potential use in legal education and independent learning per se. This post considers some issues that may be inherent in my approach. In the posts that follow, I frame EBL against a background of competing pedagogies that I (re)arrange specifically in the light of EBL.

The concept of 'open education' relates to the student's breadth of choice in the substantive materials studied and the methods used to study them. This idea becomes more obvious in my posts that explore EBL's details and opposition.

5 April 2014

Act Now!

In a confused flurry of russian-doll references, I quote James Thurber, whom Patrick Dunleavy quotes from Lewis Minkin:
”Don’t get it right, get it written”*
This is good advice. I explore it in this post.