Indyref 2

by Paul Maharg on 25/06/2016

Well, I’ve spent the nine hours or so of this day’s morning here in Glasgow watching Europe beginning to unravel.  Desperately sad.

Huge implications for Scotland.  I voted remain, along with the rest of Scotland, and in 2014 voted yes in indyref but was in the minority then.  See this blog post and this article.  The four points at the end of the blog post regarding higher education I still believe are critically important — and the lunacies of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF – see Stefan Collini and Peter Scott for just some of the critique) reinforce my conviction that the English political HE experiment, started by Labour and continued by Coalition & Tory governments, is as hopelessly wrong as the English and Welsh EU referendum result.

On identity I’ve always been Scots first, European second and British a long way third.  The only solution for Scotland lies in the implications of the Scots casting the strongest national vote in the disUK to remain in Europe, when Conservative England (ably assisted by the Labour vote in Wales & northern England) is dragging us all into an abyss.  Even London is protesting — or should it be Scotlond.  For our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon  delivered what was easily the best political speech of the morning — determined, Europe-centred, Scotland-focused, expansive and welcoming to the rest of the world.  And indyref2 is now underway.

Before her speech, black despair.  After it, determination to act.  And that was all before lunch.  Nine hours that changed the UK forever.  My family and I spent the rest of the day trying to understand the implications of it all for Scotland, for rUK, for Europe, for Higher Education, for all our lives.  Now, before bed, only a large Laphroaig meets the moment.

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Legal Education Research Network workshop

by Paul Maharg on 16/06/2016

I was asked by Pat Leighton to contribute to the LERN workshop today at IALS, ‘Effective dissemination of research findings’, so am focusing on ‘New media and digital research literacies for legal educators’, a session I gave last year and which I’ve updated.  Slides as usual at the tab above and at Slideshare.  One very useful recent resource is the handbook I found on the LSE Impact Blog entitled Maximising the Impacts of Your Research: A Handbook for Social Scientists, published by the LSE Public Policy Group (Consultation draft 3).  See also, more recently, Mark Reed’s The Research Impact Handbook,  reviewed on the LSE Impact Blog here.  Thanks to Pat and LERN for the invite…

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Imagination and legal reasoning, session 3

by Paul Maharg on 16/06/2016

I’m chairing this (predominantly pedagogy) session so comments will be short.  Useful paper by Paul Harris on developmental psychology.  Causal thinking is often influenced by counterfactual thinking — explored by psychologists in the late eighties eg Wells & Gavinski 1989, particularly with regard to children’s development.  He cited Harris et al 1996 (cited here).  He cited new data, from Iceland and Japan (Hiro Terada).  Conclusion: counterfactual thinking comes easily to young children.  They conceptualise the world not just in terms of what was done but also in terms of what was not done.  They also invoke what was not done to block the assignation of causal responsibility to a potential action for bringing about a given outcome.   From an early age, he avers, counterfactual thinking is intimately connect to judgments of responsibility and innocence.

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Imagination & legal reasoning, session 2

June 16, 2016

Firt up, Suzanne Keen.  She’s a narratologist, written on empathy and the novel, amongst much else.  She contrasted immersion with perspective-taking and role-taking, and defined various forms of empathy.  Machiavellian empathy — evolved behaviour, eg psychopaths demonstrate it a lot; self-empathy, where you deal with threats by imagining what they will do to you; fantasy […]

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Imagination and Legal Reasoning: History, Theory, Pedagogy

June 15, 2016

Maks Del Mar, Simon Stern and I had the idea, quite a while back now, to hold a series of workshops, internationally, on the subject of legal reasoning.  But not only legal reasoning, but the concept as within the context of other disciplines, other bodies of knowledges and practices.  The workshops and background information are […]

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Third National Symposium, day 3: plenary panel: assessment tools for practice skills and final thoughts

June 13, 2016

First session today, David Thomson and me talking about ‘Assessment tools for practice skills’. First up, David, second me.  My slides are up in the usual place, under the Slides tab, and at Slideshare.

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Third national symposium: small group session: Assessment of reflective papers

June 12, 2016

This session was facilitated by Jodi Balsam and Susan Brooks.  After general introduction, we then identified contexts and goals for reflection practice and assessment.  We then discussed criteria for assessing — being specific, detailed, examples, insights, implications for future action, etc.  We then discussed two pieces of reflective writing from reflective papers.  The facilitators then […]

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Third National Symposium: Interdisciplinary approaches to assessment

June 12, 2016

Next up we have a plenary session, this time exploring interdisciplinary approaches to assessment.  There’s Colleen Gillespie, Director of Evaluation in the Program for Medical Innovations and Research.  And Adina Kalet, Co-director of the same program, and Sondra Zabar, also from that program.  Their title slide has a wonderful nineteenth-century title-page prolixity about it: Assessment […]

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Third National Symposium: Remembering Robert MacCrate — Randy Hertz

June 12, 2016

Stephen Ellmann introduced this lunch session, with Randy Hertz describing Robert MacCrate, who died earlier this year, and his legal educational achievement, largely but by no means only the MacCrate Report.  How did he accomplish what he did on the famous Task Force?  He built the group, drawing together the academy and practice worlds.  He also gathered […]

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Third National Symposium on Experiential Learning in Law, Saturday am: small group sessions

June 12, 2016

Just spent a fascinating two days at Osgoode Hall, talking to staff there about many aspects of legal education.  More of that later.  But it’s Saturday, New York Law School, and day 2 of the above Symposium.  David Thomson invited me along to a panel on assessment tools for practice skills, which we’re doing tomorrow. […]

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