Training Tomorrow's Lawyers: What Empirical Research Can Tell Us About the Effect of Law School Pedagogy on Law Student Learning Styles
Eric A. DeGroff
Regent University - School of Law
April 17, 2012
36 S. Ill. U. L.J. 251 (2012)
Generations X and Y, which together account for a large majority of today's law school classes, are unlike previous generations in their approach to learning. Legal scholars have begun to note the disparity between the learning styles and thought processes of today's students and many of their professors, and there is a growing call for a more experiential pedagogy in the law school curriculum and classroom. The legal academy, however, has little empirical data to evaluate what kind of difference, if any, a more experiential approach to teaching might make.
The research described in this article was designed to help bridge that gap by adding to the modest, but growing, body of data linking pedagogical approaches to learning outcomes. Specifically, the article presents the results of a longitudinal assessment of learning styles over the course of the first year of law school. Findings from this research demonstrate a significant shift in learning styles over the course of the first year of study, and -- while less conclusive -- also suggest that an experiential approach in the classroom may impact student learning in a positive way.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: learning style, pedagogy, generation X, generation Y, empirical, learning outcomes, Kolb learning style instrument
JEL Classification: I20, I21, I29
Date posted: April 17, 2012