UC3M´S STREET-LAW PROGRAM: A TEACHING EXPERIENCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Abstract:Over the last few years, the Legal Phylosophy Area of university Carlos III de Madrid leaded by Prof. Diego Blazquez, has been proposing their human rights course students to be part of a new teaching experience with very encouraging results. This experience is included within the Human Right´s Phd program of the Instituto de derechos humanos “Bartolomé de las Casas” from the same university. Basically, we are introducing a legal clinical education or, as we just called it, the juridical clinic, where we get teachers, phd students, law students and high-school students working all together.
Law students are proposed to become human rights teachers and explain several lessons at a highschool with real highschool students. While preparing to achieve nice results, law students are helped out by phd students on human rights (facilitators) as well as regular teachers. In order to get a syllabus ready, the students are asked to work in groups and deal with the problem collaboratively. We try to manage traditional lecturing with TBL as well as PBL since they will not have all the information requiered to teach any of the particular lessons and personal and individual research is requered.. TBL is been divided into several steps: start-up lesson (activation), individual research, whole group tutorship, whole group organization and discussion, evaluation. Regular teacher assists the group at first and last steps while facilitators deal with tutorships. Regular teacher and facilitators do never intervene in the group teaching activity as it is the sole responsability of the group which they know.
By researching and preparing the syllabus, law students face a new and challenging way of learning. We do believe this is not just because of the possibility of being a part-time teacher at highschool but also because of the social interest that raises the lessons they are going to teach: gender-based violence, disability, political integration, bullying and human dignity. A great deal of researching results are used to fullfill these explanations making university to comply with its social requirements. The ethical issue is nicely solved through rules the student expressly accepts.
Improving teaching methods means trial and error. This year´s new instructions have been given to the students so no one is taking advantage of their partners. We have focused on the tutorship as a reward for previous work and self evaluation not being self grading. More weight is been given to selfevaluation, a 15% to 30% of the final grade. More critical thinking has been required at the theory examination.
After talking to other years student who took an interest on the human rights course, we are starting to consider it could be a nice LifeLong Learning (LLL) preparation as it changes the students mentality giving it a more mature vision of university, professors and new educational alternatives.
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Keywords: legal education, legal clinic, human rights, teaching projects, accountability.