Beginning to Address 'The Elephant in the Classroom': Sessional Law Teachers' Unmet Professional Development Needs
25 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2015
Date Written: 2015
As casualisation increases across the Australian tertiary education sector, sessional staff have become the most visible teachers for many law students. The quality of sessional teaching is therefore critical to law students’ learning and progression through their degree. However, many sessional teachers in law have limited teaching qualifications and little teaching experience. Despite this, few law schools have the institutional capacity to develop effective development programs for these teachers. This is the ‘elephant in the classroom’ of tertiary legal education. This article exposes that elephant and seeks to assist the legal academy to resolve this problem. It explores the scope of teacher development opportunities available to sessional law teachers in Australia in 2013, investigates the development resources which are most required, and describes the work of the Smart Casual project in addressing that unmet need.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation