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The fine line between spoon feeding and educational support – adapting to the needs of students challenged by the study of Criminal Law and the Law of Evidence

The fine line between spoon feeding and educational support – adapting to the needs of students challenged by the study of Criminal Law and the Law of Evidence

Withey, Carol (2009) The fine line between spoon feeding and educational support – adapting to the needs of students challenged by the study of Criminal Law and the Law of Evidence. In: Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, 7-8 Sep 2009, University of Keele, Newcastle-under-Lyme, UK. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper explores some strategies that can be adopted when teaching law students challenged by the subject matter. These strategies apply to the teaching of Criminal Law and the Law of Evidence. Having taught these two subjects for ten years I have had an opportunity to assess the most effective methods of teaching in relation to a wide cohort of students. This cohort has included Access to law students, ILEX students, full time LLB internal and external students, LLB students in other countries, mature and part time evening students on a range of courses , Foundation Degree students, Mixed Honour Degree students and vocational students; for example prison officers. I have adopted several teaching strategies, ranging from the ‘hands off’ more traditional expectation that students should be responsible for their own reading, note taking and learning, to the ‘hands on’ method of providing a wide range of notes, materials, revision aids, quizzes , suggested solutions to seminar questions and WebCT support. Whilst this paper is not designed to elevate any method as the appropriate one in all cases, it will seek to demonstrate how some students require considerable support, and that independent learning is difficult for many students. The aim of the paper is to share some of the practices that I adopt when teaching students challenged by the subject matter, focusing in particular on the effectiveness of interesting power point slides and the need to provide templates for structuring answers to problem questions. I also aim to dispel what I consider to be a myth: that this type of support is simply ‘spoon feeding’ students. In my opinion there is a distinct line between increased support and ‘spoon feeding’; the latter concept involves a great deal more, including the teaching of a syllabus to the exam and coursework. I also hope to demonstrate how the approach does not dissuade students from conducting their own additional independent study. An analysis of student feedback to my teaching methods will be considered.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: Criminal Justice: Group B - September 9th and 10th 2009. Session 1: September 9th
Uncontrolled Keywords: criminal law, teaching
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Law & Criminology Research Group
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of Law & Criminology
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:13
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/5119

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