Teaching Methods

Learning in law school is essentially self-directed. Most of your learning will happen outside of the classroom and independently of myself or any other professor. In fact, many professors, (myself included) will test you on significantly more than can ever be covered in class. My role is to structure my course in such a way as to facilitate your self-directed learning. My methods for facilitating your learning include:


**Detailed Syllabus.

This syllabus is an important study tool. It provides you with specific guidelines as to my expectations regarding what you should learn, what skills and understanding I value and how I organize the content of the course. However, the syllabus is not a contract and I retain the right to modify it at my discretion.


**Assigned Readings.

The assigned reading provides you not only with the opportunity to obtain rule and process information, but more importantly to develop your analytical skills and your understanding of the impact of violence in American life. It is my expectation that you will be thoroughly familiar with the assignment and completely prepared for class participation.


**Guided Discussion.

Guided Discussion is a non-hierarchical verbal interaction among a group of persons on a specified topic with a purpose. There are several benefits to the discussion method as a techniques in this course. First, good discussion can provide an active learning role. Research shows that students learn more and retain learned information longer when their role in the learning process is active. Second, good discussion encourages students to listen to and learn from each other. Discussion encourages cooperative learning rather than competitive learning, Third. Discussion involves high level thinking, critical thinking skills. Fourth discussion exposes students to viewpoints other than their own. Fifth, discussion helps to develop oral advocacy and other skills. Sixth, discussion provides an opportunity for students to bring their opinions and feelings to the study of law.