The Pink Tower Meets the Ivory Tower: Adapting Montessori Teaching Methods for Law School
65 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2014 Last revised: 29 Jan 2016
Date Written: August 19, 2014
Some principles of teaching are timeless. Maria Montessori developed a methodology for teaching children over 100 years ago, nearly the same time as Christopher Columbus Langdell was adapting the Socratic Method for teaching law students. Law school professors can incorporate Montessori's ideas to foster a more robust educational environment for law students as they join a profession of life-long self-directed learners. This article explores the Montessori Method, both its history and its present application, and describes in depth the theories behind Montessori's teaching philosophy. The article then suggests ways in which the core components of the Montessori Method can be adapted at the law school level, specifically in the mindset of professors, in classroom management, in physical building design, and in radical curricular reform. In so doing, the article seeks to capitalize on the timeless theories of education that can be used today to strengthen law school teaching.
Keywords: pegagogy, teaching methods
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