Beyond Training: Law Librarianship's Quest for the Pedagogy of Legal Research Instruction
Callister, Paul D.
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The paper (I) outlines the nature and extent of the dissatisfaction with legal research instruction and demonstrates that the problem predates computer-assisted legal research, (II) presents the history of the debate (focusing on a heated exchange between advocates of a "process-oriented" approach and proponents of the traditional, "bibliographic" methods), and (III) presents the requisite elements of a satisfactory pedagogical model, discussing various issues surrounding each of these elements. In part III, the paper proposes that a complete pedagogical model requires (A) an identifiable and fully understood objective in teaching legal research (which objective must distinguish between the kinds of research done by attorneys, scholars, and librarians), (B) a theory and understanding of the nature of legal source materials, (C) a theory of mathetics, or the nature of students and how they learn (with emphasis upon the provision of conceptual models for internalizing research techniques), and (D) a methodology consistent with the previous elements. Besides proposing the elements of the pedagogical model, this paper will explore the subtle issues surrounding each element (including examples of frameworks selected by the author), concluding that an appropriate pedagogical model has to be designed based upon the particular circumstances and needs of each law school.
Table of Contents
The Nature and Extent of the Problem -- History of the Debate and Its Aftermath -- Round I: The Wren Indictment & The Wrens' Model -- Round II: Countercharge from Traditional Law Librarians & Proposal of Berring and Vanden Heuvel -- The Wrens' Response -- Conclusion of the Wren Debate and Its Aftermath: End of the Debate, Impact on Law Librarians as a Profession, CALR Overshadows the Debate, The Concurrent Shift in the Nature of Legal Research, & Summary of Developments and Aftermath -- Requisite Elements of a Pedagogical Model for Legal Research Instruction: Objective of Teaching Legal Research -- Nature of Legal Sources -- Mathetics: The Nature of Students and the Conditions of Learning -- A Consistent Methodology -- Conclusion.
Callister, Paul D., Beyond Training: Law Librarianship's Quest for the Pedagogy of Legal Research Instruction. Law Library Journal, Vol. 95, pp. 7-45, 2003. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=984303