Academic Learning in Law

Academic Learning in Law

Theoretical Positions, Teaching Experiments and Learning Experiences

Edited by Bart van Klink and Ubaldus de Vries

This timely book calls for a critical re-evaluation of university legal education, with the particular aim of strengthening its academic nature. It emphasizes lecturers’ responsibility to challenge the assumptions students have about law, and the importance of putting law in a theoretical and social context that allows for critical reflection and sceptical detachment. In addition, the book reports upon teaching experiences and innovations, offering tools for teachers to strengthen the academic nature of legal education.

Chapter 15: Epilogue: an overview, reflections and a student’s perspective

Tim Bleeker

Subjects: law - academic, legal philosophy, legal theory, research methods in law, research methods, research methods in law

Extract

In the introductory chapter of this book, the many challenges that legal education faces today are discussed. Teachers and students call for a critical re-evaluation of the purpose, curriculum and teaching methods of academic legal education. This edited volume adds various, sometimes conflicting, positions to the already complex and multifaceted debate on academic learning. It would seem desirable to briefly reflect on the positions discussed in this book. Therefore, in section 2 of this afterword, I submit an overview of this book, providing concise summaries of the contributions, reflecting on the general themes and discussing the relation between the positions taken. The overview need not to be read integrally from beginning to end. It can be used to get a short introduction to particular texts or themes and their relation. The concluding remarks in section 2 contain a syntheses of all contributions and can be consulted for an answer as to how the academic nature of law can be reinforced building upon the contributions in this book. In the debate on academic learning in legal education, the student and his or her development have returned as important topics. However, the student is often the object of study rather than a participant in this debate. This is odd, because critics in this debate tend to agree that students should become critical peers in society and take responsibility for their own intellectual development.

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