Experts & Views
Being smart inspite of a lousy teacher: freemium, quality legal education
First, Seth Godin's post "What you can learn from a lousy teacher".
"If you have a teacher (of any sort) that you cannot please, that you cannot learn from, that is unwilling to take you where you need to go because he is defending the status quo and demonstrates your failure on whatever report card he chooses to use, you could consider yourself a failure. Or you could remind yourself...
- Grades are an illusion
- Your passion and insight are reality
- Your work is worth more than mere congruence to an answer key
- Persistence in the face of a skeptical authority figure is a powerful ability
- Fitting in is a short-term strategy, standing out pays off in the long run
- If you care enough about the work to be criticized, you've learned enough for today".
LawctoModules [See www.lawctomodules.wikispaces.com ]
Free law courses with excellent content and structure; ideal for self study (and for students having bad teachers)
Many law schools in India do not have good faculty members. Well, if we can not provide great education to our students, India will surely lose out on it's demographic dividend!
We are creating courses on law subjects which have excellent content and structure. These courses will allow an intelligent and diligent student in any law school in India to learn any law subject well through self study.
In case you are a faculty member, legal practitioner or a law student anywhere in the world and can spare some minutes; please help us make quality courses with top notch content and structure.
You can read about the idea in detail below.
We all accept that while the standard of faculty in most National Law Universities (NLUs) is abysmal, the students are the best of the lot; cherry picked amongst 24,000 students (CLAT 2011 statistics). There is a clear mismatch.
The sad part is that we can’t provide a good faculty for every subject. The reasons are many; the primary one being: remuneration is low and thus good people don’t want to teach. A very few do; that too rarely. What can be done?
Can we design courses, with such content and structure that if an eager, intelligent and hardworking student gets working on the course diligently, he’ll be able to learn well?
The idea is not to do away with faculty but provide students with a tool using which she can learn, and learn well, even if a faculty is not up to the mark.
Collaborative models, we believe, are a game changer. Conversations and collaboration can happen over email, phone, Skype, chat, Wiki models, Google docs, Moodle etc.
I think of a faculty as a bus driver who takes the passengers through a route (the course) to a destination (knowledge). He also allows the people to sometimes get off the bus (think), explore (question) and then come back (discipline).
A good faculty is a good bus driver.
Some faculty members don’t know how to drive the bus and the ride is bumpy and uncomfortable. Sometimes it is dangerous too. Sometimes it’s boring and nauseating. Sometimes you vomit.
Sometimes you crash. And you die. (A bad IP law teacher will make sure that half of the IP enthusiasts don’t become great IP lawyers. Good is not great).
The idea is to provide a carefully designed, detailed and illustrated road map to the passengers. In case it is found that the driver is bad or dangerous; the passengers can get off the bus, follow that road map and reach the destination; on their own.
We know it is not a perfect solution. However, it surely is a much better alternative to ignoring a field of law completely and creating such courses will be a useful thing to do.
What will happen?
The course will be like the road map. Any law student in any law school throughout India will be able to download, read and learn from this course. The course will ensure that quality legal education is accessible to all.
Any intelligent and diligent student will be able to learn any subject well. When this gets done, maybe even the in-house law school faculty across law colleges in India will be encouraged to up their standards.
See www.lawctomodules.wikispaces.com. This is at an ideation stage. Help, comments and suggestions are welcome.