February 21, 2008
Liveblogging the Future of Legal Education Conference
What follows will be a rather raw feed from my vantage point here at the Conference on the Future of Legal Education.
Berry, Cunningham both concur that the third apprenticeship -- the values of the profession -- are the most foundational and important within the recommendations of the Carnegie Report.
A theme Sullivan himself underlines. Most of this a rehash of his AALS presentation, nothing surprising to anyone who's read the Carnegie Report. Professionalism: commitment to the work itself; a kind of work, but in particular, "good work" and "good works." Formative education: pedagogies that intend to shape perceiving, thinking, judging. Acquire abilities but also sensibilities: what is possible, what is worth doing, and therefore who they are and might become.
Simulated Professional Learning (SMPL) environment -- deployed in law schools and other higher ed. Focus is on transaction, in the learning (Dewey) sense rather than the legal one. Learning takes place in a very similar manner as a computer game: students given a goal (reach a settlement by the end of the term) and then teach themselves, using a rich set of case documents, asking for help from each other and from tutors. There's only an introductory and evaluative lecture at the beginning and end of the course, but scenarios designed to spring deep and rich problems on students to solve along the way (e.g. ethical issues).
Simulations run online -- much of it automated (e.g. email from the client or partners). Takes place within an online virtual environment (not necessarily 3D). Groupwork heavily emphasized (very few issues arose around group dynamics, but safeguards set up). Major role shift from student to practitioner. Practice skills (time management) + values (ethical conflicts)
Teacher as "designer" -- distributing knowledge and skills across webs (professor no longer the center). Staff spend more time designing online learning with a wide staff, e.g. resources, simulations, just-in-time learning, salon & masterclass. This happens across entire programs of studey, within and across disciplines; within and across institutions.
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