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Title: Improving curriculum theory and design for teaching law to non-lawyers in built environment education
Authors: Morris, RJ
Keywords: Curriculum development
Hong Kong
Teaching methods
Issue Date: 2007
Source: Structural survey, 2007, v. 25, no. 3-4, p. 279-292 How to cite?
Journal: Structural Survey 
Abstract: Purpose - The paper sets out to contribute to the ongoing debate on the deficiencies in the teaching of law to non-law students, specifically, addressing the question of whether the pedagogical approach should differ from that traditionally used for the teaching of law to law students and, if so, to what degree. Design/methodology/approach - The existing literature is reviewed and the author draws on his practical experience of teaching law to non-law university students in building and real estate. Reference is also made to experiments in curriculum design and pedagogy at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which included a survey of student and practitioner opinions. Findings - Although some progress is noted, serious defects are identified in both curriculum design and its underlying methodology in the areas studied. Demands in the twenty-first century for the teaching of law in these contexts are shown to have outstripped the relevant pedagogical theory and practice. Nevertheless, possible ways to improve the situation are identified from the literature, and from recent examples of educational practice. Since professional knowledge is resistant to any substantial restructuring, it is proposed that departments must insist on the plementation of change, which is consistent with available research findings. The paper proposes (inter alia) that greater attention should be paid to preparing non-law students for their legal studies in addition to the present focus on the study of substantive legal topics. Research limitations/implications - Although the article makes reference to some quantitative questionnaire research, it is not presented as an empirical study. As stated in the text, the empirical investigations are used, together with the literature review, to inform the thesis presented by the author, which uses theory to addressing practical issues. Originality/value - The paper fills an identified gap in the theoretical knowledge of the subject and provides some ideas and suggestions for ways forward.
ISSN: 0263-080X
DOI: 10.1108/02630800710772854
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