Derrick Bell’s Community-Based Classroom
5 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2012 Last revised: 1 Jan 2013
Date Written: June 11, 2012
In Derrick Bell’s Community-based Classroom, I argue that Derrick Bell enhanced his participatory pedagogical approach to teaching constitutional law by intentionally creating community within the law school classroom — a community that humanized the students’ educational experience. This essay explores three ways in which he created community: through his participatory, student-centered course structure; his social classroom environment; and his interactive self-assessments. Over the past few years, legal education has come under indictment in the media for not adequately training lawyers for practice. Bell’s community-based classroom responds to this indictment, fusing both theory and practice in teaching doctrinal constitutional law courses that aim to transform students into competent, caring professionals.
Keywords: Derrick, Bell, education, legal, Constitutional law, teaching, classroom
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation