VOLUME
5:2
December 2018
279-567
  • AN INTEGRATED LAW CURRICULUM: BALANCING LEARNING EXPERIENCES TO ACHIEVE A RANGE OF LEARNING OUTCOMES

    Jonny Hall*
Abstract

This article explores the design of a law curriculum in any jurisdiction which might more closely achieve the range of outcomes expected of study (and therefore also legal study) in higher education. It is an argument calling for the integration of varied learning experiences across and within the years that students spend studying law. This article recognises the place for more traditional modes of learning and teaching directed at knowledge and understanding of legal principles and legal analysis (domain knowledge) while calling for the integration of inquiry-based and other experiential learning approaches. This integration should take place within more traditionally taught areas of the curriculum, recognising the role that inquiry-based and experiential learning approaches might play. The author also advocates a core thread throughout the curriculum where inquiry-based and experiential learning approaches are emphasised.

Keywords
curriculum design; developmentally appropriate learning experiences; cognitive load; experiential learning; legal education outcomes
Click here to read extracts of the article
Introduction

While different countries express higher education learning outcomes in a variety of ways and law is studied at a variety of levels, the following are generally applicable: competence, managing emotions, mature interpersonal relations, autonomy, problem solving and making decisions, establishing identity and developing integrity1 in the context of being passionate about content and learned about a subject.
Section II explores the proposition that these areas of knowledge, skills and attributes are best developed and interwoven throughout the learning experience. This article advocates a central place for experiential and inquiry-based learning (IBL) in legal study. However, key questions remain about how this integration is to be achieved — should we attempt wholesale implementation, as occurred in the case of problem-based learning (PBL) in some parts of medical education in the United States and law at a limited number of institutions,3 or a different approach that nds space for experiential learning and IBL approaches in the curriculum alongside and within more traditional ones. In the latter case, how are we going to determine how these approaches are integrated?