I’ll Have What They’re Having

Law professors Steve Bainbridge and Gordon Smith discuss their teaching styles.

Bainbridge

Smith

In a nutshell, the point is captured here.  The Battle of Wits belongs on the screen, not in the classroom:

Vizzini:  Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?

Westley: Yes.

Vizzini: Morons.

Teach without using the Socratic Method?  Inconceivable!

2 thoughts on “I’ll Have What They’re Having

  1. You keep using that word. I do not think that it means what you think it does.

    In this case, the word is not “inconceivable,” but “teach.” Perhaps putting it into a formalized Aristotelian form will help.

    P1: Much, and perhaps most, of first-year law “instruction” concerns learning the language of the law and methods of reasoning, not substance.

    P2: Substantial research demonstrates that, among many well-accepted methodologies, neither strong nor weak Socratic methods produces optimal, or even acceptable, results in teaching either languages (cf., e.g., “Dartmouth Method”) or methods of reasoning (compare with more other teaching systems than I can count).

    C: Therefore, the Socratic method, whether in strong or weak form, is an inappropriate model for providing first-year legal instruction.

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