Logical, Critical and Creative: Teaching 'Thinking Skills' to Law Students

  • Nick James TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland

Abstract

The Australian Learning and Teaching Council’s Bachelor of Laws Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement sets out six Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) for the Bachelor of Laws degree. These six TLOs represent what a Bachelor of Laws graduate is expected ‘to know, understand and be able to do as a result of learning’.1 TLO3 relates to ‘thinking skills’, comprised of legal reasoning, critical thinking and creative thinking skills. This article seeks to assist those law schools and legal academics concerned about being called upon to demonstrate the ways in which TLO3 is developed by their students. It does so by summarising, analysing and synthesising the relevant academic literature, and identifying helpful examples of the conceptualisation of, justification for and teaching of thinking skills in the context of legal education.

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