Problem based learning and New Zealand legal education
Mackinnon, J. (2006). Problem based learning and New Zealand legal education. Web Journal of Current Legal Issues, (3).
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/550
The literature (and e-literature) on Problem Based Learning in Law suggests that this approach has been adopted with enthusiasm by some lecturers in the United Kingdom, Europe and Hong Kong. This article will explore the adoption of PBL approaches through the literature in order to draw some conclusions about the nature of PBL approaches in law and their relationship with institutional approaches to legal education. Problem Based Learning approaches are not visible in New Zealand. The article discusses the reasons for PBL's invisibility and PBL's appropriateness in the New Zealand legal education context now and in the future of legal work. Part of the New Zealand context is the participation of the indigenous people in legal education and consideration is given to whether PBL can benefit Māori law students. It is suggested that PBL approaches to learning law promote: Contextualisation Interdisciplinarity Integration of prior personal and/or professional knowledge Collaboration Enquiry skills Reflection and transition Self directed learning and self assessment Praxis. Problem Based Learning requires and fosters reflexive participants, who are sufficiently conceptually literate to read and critique key aspects of the social order and to understand their own, and others' status and role in it. Reflexivity contributes to humanist as well as legal solutions to complex human problems. PBL approaches are consistent with legal education in an increasingly global employment market.
The document is available online at the Web Journal of Current Legal Issues.
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