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‘A Mutual Confrontation Of Structure And Accident’ A Framework For Researching How Lawyer-Mentors Engage With Scholarship Of Teaching

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Presentation to the 11th International Journal of Clinical Legal Education annual conference, Griffith University, Brisbane, 16 July 2013.

Whether lawyers use intuition, educational theory, practical philosophy or something else, Greaves is interested in how lawyers who teach lawyers’ skills at the post-graduate pre-admission stage engage in scholarly activities regarding their teaching work. Defining ‘scholarly activities’ is problematic, perhaps more so if clinical/practical legal education is exiled to academia’s periphery. What constitutes ‘scholarly’ work; is it necessary or desirable? What motivates teachers’ engagement with scholarly work; what is their capacity to do so? What symbolic support and resources do clinical schools commit to scholarly activities regarding teaching? Greaves describes how he adopts Lévi-Strauss’ concept of bricolage to interlace interdisciplinary theories, qualitative methodologies and methods to investigate the above questions reflectively and reflexively. Greaves argues innovative lawyers engage in bricolage by experimentally reorganising and coalescing practices and knowledge as part of a dynamic ‘dialogue with the materials and means of execution.’* Similarly, bricolage is well adapted toward design and conduct of theoretically coherent and innovative study of lawyers’ engagement with scholarly activities regarding their teaching work. Here, bricolage involves experiments with theories, methodologies, and methods in a process involving ‘construction and reconstruction, contextual diagnosis, negotiation and readjustment.’

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‘A Mutual Confrontation Of Structure And Accident’ A Framework For Researching How Lawyer-Mentors Engage With Scholarship Of Teaching

  1. 1. ‘A MUTUAL CONFRONTATION OF STRUCTURE AND ACCIDENT’ A FRAMEWORK FOR RESEARCHING HOW LAWYER-MENTORS ENGAGE WITH SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING 1
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  4. 4. 4 Kristoffer Greaves Australian Lawyer PLT Practitioner PhD Candidate – Deakin University School of Education
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  9. 9. Purpose of Legal Profession Acts Protect Clients Protect Administration of Justice Assure Quality of Legal Services 9
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  11. 11. • PLT practitioners are lawyers • Lawyers are officers of the court • Paramount duty • Applies to PLT work? • Would SoTL support this work? 11
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  13. 13. 2012 13
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  15. 15. Guiding Questions for PLT Practitioners Motivation to engage with SoTL? Capacity to engage? Employer symbolic support? Employer allocation of resources? 15
  16. 16. New SoTL Knowledge Enters…? Practice is Pedagogy Pedagogy is Practice 16
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  18. 18. Dynamic dialogue with the materials and means of execution 18
  19. 19. Data: Texts + People 19
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  22. 22. “I’ve no time for learning theory – give me the elevator pitch” Anon 22
  23. 23. Engaging with SoTL • Support PLT practitioners • More than one way to engage with SoTL • Bricolage a flexible practice-friendly approach • Prospects for improved satisfaction and quality 23
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