Saturday, September 23, 2017

 

Vernellia R. Randall, Increasing Retention and Improving Performance: Practical Advice on Using Cooperative Learning in Law Schools, 16 Thomas M. Cooley Law Review 201 - 272 (Trinity Term, 1999) (285 Footnotes Omitted)


Prologue

vernelliarandall2015Imagine, please, taking a class in piano playing. Assume the teacher focuses all of her effort on analyzing sheet music of great musicians. At each class, students are called on to dissect, digest, analyze and compare various works. Occasionally, they are asked to play very short snippets, but most of the time they read and discuss. At the end of the course, when the students have learned everything there is to know about the treble and base clefs, timing, notes, beats and rhythms, the student is asked to take a final exam, which consists of playing a piano piece that they have never seen before. They are given no time to practice the piece. The piano is wheeled in and the students proceed. Assume the professor discloses to the students this testing practice, but adamantly assures the students that if they prepare for class diligently they will be prepared for the exam. Who will do well on the exam? Will it be the person who never sat down to a piano before this class? Will it be the student who ignores the professor's assurances and takes piano lessons independently? Will it be the person who has taken piano as a child or during college?” What obligation does the professor have for teaching the student who has never sat down to a piano before?

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