About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1592-1600
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES IN TEACHING TAXATION

C. Lepow

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law (UNITED STATES)
It seems that law students lose their innate (or at least pre-law school) common sense and morality and do not regain it after mastering legal technicalities. Technology, especially television and computers, changed western culture from a literate culture to one which is particularly skeptical of words. Computers, for example, project concrete objects, but the style of reasoning encouraged by computer learning is not equivalent to that of a preliterate culture.
This paper asks readers to imagine the shapes and colors of legal issues; it examines how people communicate and develop ideas through moving, metamorphosing images, especially computer graphics, and why methodology affects the eventual product of thought. Like dance, legal issues are better described through action than through words.
Tax law is an extreme model of a subject with such discordant subtopics that textbook learning becomes a special challenge. The teaching of tax law exemplifies my claim that a textbook's discrete presentations of learning do not impart comprehension of an overall concept. Instead, a tax textbook's linear style of presentation perpetuates a multiplicity of fragmented concepts. It sets out neither the prevalent theme, nor even a set of themes, and fails to do so consistently from the introduction of a new concept to the disclosure of the final element in a principle of law. Then the incomplete understanding, by dividing and limiting the problems that lawyers think of solving, leads to overspecialization and prevents development of an overall tax policy. By separating technical knowledge from practical issues, the presentation of tax law constrains the ways in which lawyers serve their clients.

An idea and its expression are not coextensive. The medium of expression, like the skin on a drum, channels thought so that the expression by the thinker and the idea itself are not totally alike. Generally, the tangible form reflects some portion less than the whole of the thought. For example, an idea expressed by beating a drum is affected as much by the vibrations of the skin on the drum as by the timing of the musician. Hence, what is thought or known cannot be expressed exactly in words.
Video recordings can be valuable, but not necessarily neutral, educational tools. Video combines the elements of sound and story with disparate elements of visual art -- color, light, sculpture, architecture, and movement. However, the camera is not neutral and causes distortion in two principal ways.
The video's potential for distortion also is its source of strength for teaching. The narrow focus of the video recorder enhances learning by demonstrating legal concepts; by distinguishing an essential principle from its applications; and by giving us a common experience to replace the lost consensus of a prior generation. In a multicultural society, video creates a common experience for a diverse group. Perhaps, because the pulsating dots that create the picture on a television monitor replicate the blinking pattern of human vision, one remembers television as the recollection of an event witnessed in person.
@InProceedings{LEPOW2010NEW,
author = {Lepow, C.},
title = {NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES IN TEACHING TAXATION},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {1592-1600}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Lepow
TI - NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES IN TEACHING TAXATION
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 1592
EP - 1600
ER -
C. Lepow (2010) NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES IN TEACHING TAXATION, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 1592-1600.
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