Thursday, September 24, 2020

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Article Index

II. IMPLICATIONS OF RESEARCH

The findings of this research provide some information for suggesting change in various aspects of legal education. The first implication is that it is urgent that law schools recognize, accept, and understand the diversity of students with regard to learning styles. Law schools and the legal profession are made up of diverse learners.

A second implication is the need for faculty to know and teach about learning style. By doing so, the faculty will help students to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. Such understanding will contribute to increased self-esteem and ultimately to achievement. It may also contribute to decreased feelings of frustration and cognitive dissonance among first year law students.

A third implication of the research is the need for faculty to use a variety of teaching techniques. The traditional pseudo-socratic teaching style fits the learning style of only some learners. More importantly, this style is misleading. Since it relies on thinking while acting, it may lead extraverts to believe that they are actually doing better than they really are. Extraverts need activities that will require them to engage in reflective thinking and to communicate that thinking in writing rather than orally. Furthermore, it is important that faculty develop teaching methods that address the full range of learning styles.

Since learning styles tend to guide teaching styles, counseling styles, and communication practices, a fourth implication is the need for law schools to hire faculty with diverse learning styles. Obviously, by having a faculty and support staff with diverse learning styles, law schools will provide students with a selection of instructors and other personnel from which to learn and seek advice.

A final implication is the urgent need for further research on learning style. There is a need for research on learning style throughout the law school experience and even into practice. There is a need for research on the different aspects of learning style and academic performance. For instance, what impact does learning style have on first year grades, upper division grades, and bar passage? Another important question that needs further research is how learning styles affect the performance of students of color and how it may have different implications for whites. Also, a study needs to be made of differences based on gender.

Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law

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