Signature pedagogies and legal education in universities: Epistemological and pedagogical concerns with Langdellian case method

Hyland, Á and Kilcommins, S. (2009) Signature pedagogies and legal education in universities: Epistemological and pedagogical concerns with Langdellian case method. Teaching in Higher Education, 14 (1). pp. 29-42. ISSN 13562517 (ISSN)

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This paper offers an analysis of Lee S. Shulman's concept of 'signature pedagogies' as it relates to legal education. In law, the signature pedagogy identified by Shulman is the Langdellian case method. Though the concept of signature pedagogies provides an excellent infrastructure for the exchange of teaching ideas, Shulman has a tendency to portray the concept in Manichean terms with the forces of light of professional education (where students are engaged in a rigorous and systematic education) ranged against the forces of darkness of non-professional education (where students are non-participative and where education is to some extent in a state of flux). It will be argued in this paper that the signature pedagogy of law has a number of pedagogical and epistemological shortcomings that should make those from non-law and non-professional backgrounds cautious about imitating its various constituent elements in their respective disciplines.

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Uncontrolled Keywords: Case method; Legal education; Signature pedagogies
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 19:33
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2015 19:36

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