Teaching, Skills and Outcomes in Australian Property Law Units: A Survey of Current Approaches
AbstractGlobally, higher education and legal education have embraced the development of skills as an integral part of student learning. It is no longer enough that graduates enter the workplace armed only with a body of disembodied discipline knowledge. It is expected that graduates have complementary skills – both generic and professional. These skills do not appear ‘magically’; rather it is the role of the law teacher to facilitate students’ development of these skills during their studies. The imperative to design curricula that embed skills development has become more urgent with the advent of discipline standards and the new quality regime in Australia. This paper reports on a survey of Australian property law teachers undertaken in late 2011. The paper analyses teaching methods, skills and outcomes in the teaching of property law. In particular, the paper considers how property teachers deal with the development of skills in the property law curriculum, testing Gray’s suggestion that ‘[i]t is in Property Law that consciously or unconsciously the student learns a basic competence in a number of skills which are of immense importance in later life.’(1) If this is true, this paper asks, how and to what extent do Australian property law curricula embrace the teaching of skills?
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