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Defining and assessing critical legal thinking Nick James & Clare Cappa TC Beirne School of Law.

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Presentation on theme: "Defining and assessing critical legal thinking Nick James & Clare Cappa TC Beirne School of Law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Defining and assessing critical legal thinking Nick James & Clare Cappa TC Beirne School of Law

2 Project overview Little guidance is currently available about the way in which critical thinking relates to legal education and legal practice, and how critical legal thinking might best be assessed. This project will draw upon scholarship and expertise from the disciplines of law and education in order to 1.construct a definition of critical legal thinking' that is doctrinally sound, vocationally relevant, grounded in theory and oriented towards legal and social reform; 2.identify the best methods for assessing critical legal thinking; and 3.develop tools for the assessment of the critical legal thinking by law students (for use in the delivery of law courses) and by legal practitioners (for use in the refinement of graduate attributes and in professional training).

3 Tentative definition Practice of the art of critical legal thinking requires: – Critical knowledge – Critical skills – Critical disposition

4 Present work Assessment tools will be developed for delivery of LAWS1112 Law & Society in Semester Work funded by UQ Strategic T&L grant 1.Critical knowledge: Design of curriculum and assessment tools 2.Critical skills: RA appointed to locate and refine skills assessment criteria; design of tutorial-based assessment tool 3.Critical disposition: RA appointed to locate disposition assessment literature and tools

5 Next steps 1.Development of online assessment tool to measure and assess critical disposition 2.Testing of traditional, tutorial and online assessment tools in Sem 1 3.Development of comprehensive online assessment tool to measure and assess critical knowledge, critical skills and critical disposition 4.Application of comprehensive online assessment tool to investigate critical legal thinking by legal practitioners


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