Copyright (c) 2010 Williamette Journal of International Law & Dispute Resolution
Williamette Journal of International Law & Dispute Resolution
ARTICLE: CAN HAVRUTA STYLE LEARNING BE A BEST PRACTICE IN LAW SCHOOL? 1
Willamette Journal of International Law & Dispute Resolution
18 Willamette J. Int'l L. & Dispute Res. 109
Barbara Pinkerton Blumenfeld*
Havruta, a unique form of collaborative student centered learning, manages to excite students and to engage them in the learning process. 2 That alone makes it worth examining, especially when "much has been said and written about how those who have been raised on the lap of the electronic media and the instant gratification that it provides recoil from investing in the study of disciplines that require hard work and promise only a long-term return." 3 Yet this traditional Jewish method of using pairs to closely study a text seems to be especially compatible with legal education because of its focus on process, a focus which is adaptable to law school training in legal reasoning. The focus of Havruta is also based upon dispute and resolution, another aspect that corresponds with the study of law. Havruta method is not, however, directly transferable without some consideration of the underlying philosophies of learning, teaching and educational goals, as well as an understanding of how it may differ from collaborative learning methods currently practiced in the law school classroom. It is also necessary to discuss the goals of legal education and the current methods of effectuating those goals. With this information, one can consider whether Havruta style learning can and should have a place in the law school classroom.
This paper will briefly describe Havruta learning and general theories of collaborative learning. It will then compare the two, considering the histories, purposes, and principles behind these ...
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