Co-Teaching International Criminal Law: New Strategies to Meet the Challenges of a New Course
Brooklyn Law School
Brooklyn Law School
Brooklyn Journal of International Law, 2006
Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 45
Collaborative teaching is relatively rare in law schools. In other areas of the academy, though, educators report a variety of advantages gained by both teachers and students in team-taught courses. The consensus is that teamwork improves the quality of teaching by combining strengths, promotes self-discipline, forces teachers to clarify goals for each class, exposes teachers to new perspectives from observing others teach, energizes and improves morale, and encourages creativity and community.
The authors recently co-taught International Criminal Law, a course new to them and to their law school. In this essay, they reflect on the challenges and rewards of co-teaching in a dynamic and multilayered field. They conclude that the collaboration supported their ability to tackle new materials while simultaneously taking a more reflective look at the teaching process itself. They note that team-teaching does not permit inertia, laziness, short cuts, or complacency since it forces teachers to articulate their choices and decisions about content and method, coordination, cooperation, and compromise, as well as to engage in regular reflection about classroom performance. They discovered, somewhat counter-intuitively, that the demands of team-teaching multiplied rather than diminished their workload. Nonetheless, they found the rewards more abundant and the reinvigoration more robust than they had experienced in the past when they independently prepared new courses.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: Team-teaching, legal education, international criminal law
JEL Classification: K19Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 13, 2005
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