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Practice-Based Approach to Teaching Ethics

Submitted by Nigel Duncan on Wed, 09-05-2012
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'How can we give up our child?' A practice-based approach to teaching legal ethics
Cunningham, Clark D.
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The Law Teacher
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United Kingdom
This is one of seven articles collected into a Special Issue of the Law Teacher, published in 2008. The special issue constitutes a reprise of an article by Burridge and Webb, published in 2007, vol. 10, 1 Legal Ethics, pp 72-97 and a series of responses to the arguments presented in that article. It concludes with a response to those articles by Burridge and Webb.
Clark Cunningham identifies a failure by Burridge and Webb to support their espousal of experiential methods with affirmative reasons for trying such methods and concrete examples of how to do so. He therefore provides a survey of recent theories and research into teaching values and a concrete example of working with students on a simulated, but challenging situation drawn from practice experience. The theoretical perspectives he offers are applied to the particular circumstances of those studying law and given a more tangible educational application by linking with the recent Carnegie Report,2 focussing on its criticism of US legal education for failing to address professional values and moral development. This is supported by recent research findings into the impact of teaching which combined theory with experiential learning. He concludes with a detailed presentation of an example of his own approach to such a combination of learning methods.
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