12 Widener L. Rev. 443 (2005-2006)
Improving Teaching and Learning in Law School: Faculty Development Research, Principles, and Programs; Hess, Gerald F.

handle is hein.journals/wlsj12 and id is 453 raw text is: IMPROVING TEACHING AND LEARNING IN LAW SCHOOL:
FACULTY DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH, PRINCIPLES, AND
PROGRAMS
GERALD F. HESS*
'A law school shall to ensure effective teaching by allpersons
providing instructions to students. I
How can we improve our teaching and our students' learning? What can
we do to inspire and support our colleagues' efforts to become more effective
legal educators? What principles guide the design, implementation, and
evaluation of faculty development programs? This article explores those
questions through the literature on faculty development for instructional
improvement in college and law school.
Faculty development activities aimed at improving law teaching and
learning occur at both individual and institutional levels. Many law faculty
members work alone to improve their teaching by reading literature on
education, reflecting on their teaching, and gathering feedback from students.
Small groups of teachers collaborate by observing one another's classes and
engaging in conversations about pedagogy. Law schools provide opportunities
for faculty members to receive training in instructional technology, to
participate in workshops or retreats at the school dealing with teaching, and to
attend regional or national meetings and conferences concerning legal
education. Several organizations provide faculty development resources and
programs for law teachers, including the Association for American Law
Schools, the Legal Writing Institute, the Society of American Law Teachers,
the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, and the Institute for Law
School Teaching. This article is intended to inform all of those efforts.
Part I of this article defines faculty development and describes the broad
range of topics relevant to the improvement of teaching and learning. Part II
synthesizes a set of principles for designing effective faculty development
activities and programs. Part III explores in depth the central role of feedback
and pedagogical knowledge in instructional improvement. Finally, Part IV
articulates a model for evaluating faculty development programs and
summarizes the empirical studies that assess the effectiveness of instructional
improvement activities.
* Professor of Law, Gonzaga University School of Law; Visiting Professor of Law,
Phoenix International School of Law. The author thanks his colleagues who reviewed earlier
drafts of this article and offered helpful suggestions: Alison Anderson, Lawrence Dessem, Steve
Friedland, Paula Prather, Sophie Sparrow, and Mary Pat Treuthart. The author appreciates the
fine work on the footnotes and text by the editors and staff of the Widener Law Review.
1. AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, SECTION ON LEGAL EDUCATION AND ADMISSION
TO THE BAR, STANDARDS AND RuLEs OF PROCEDURE FOR APPROVAL OF LAW SCHOOLS
STANDARD 403(b) (2004-2005).

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