PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING AS A TOOL FOR ACHIEVING THE AWARENESS OF THE TRANSVERSALITY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION LAW
University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:There is no doubt that the European Union Law is a set of norms that goes into the legal systems of the member states. Nowadays, more than eighty per cent of state law is conditioned by the norms established by the institutions of the European Union. In other words, the decisions created in Brussels and Strasbourg directly affect the way of live of european citizens, both in private and public spheres.
The objective of using new active teaching methodologies (in particular, the problem-based learning) is that the students of Law are able to: (1) detect and manage the legal situations in which the State Law and European Union Law are in contradiction, and (2) provide a solution to the conflict of rules (state norms versus european norms).
So, we have used the methodology of problem-based learning to address some of the general skill or competences of Law Degree. In particular, we´ll focus on the: (1) the understanding of the use of legal sources produced by different legislative levels, (2) the identification of the principles for interaction between norms in cases of contradiction; and (3) the resolution of the legal problems based on these contradictions.
Methodologically, this educational project is structured on a problem-based learning. The problem that we have chosen is a legal problem. In the first weeks, the problem is not very complex. Moreover, the students are guided and directed by the teacher. In the next weeks, the complexity of the problem is more evident and students act with a greater degree of autonomy. This methodology also combines with a cooperative learning (supported by the Educational Advisory Service of the University of the Basque Country), and the students are organized in small groups once they have solved the first two problems. The combination of these active methods has produced a benefit: an intensification of the motivation and participation of the students, which has been reflected in the good results obtained after the implementation of this innovation project in the subject of European Union Law in the Grade of Law at the University of the Basque Country.
Research for this paper was carried out in the framework of the Project of Educational Innovation 2010/2012 "Europar Batasuneko Zuzenbidea geureganatuz" and UFI 11/05 (University of the Basque Country).
Keywords: Problem-based learning, European Union Law.