New approach to legal theory proves a winner

10 June 2016

Dr Arie Rosen has been awarded a Faculty of Law Teaching Excellence Award in recognition of his approach to improving teaching and learning, particularly of legal philosophy and legal theory.

Arie, who joined the Faculty Academic staff in January 2014 after completing his doctoral and postdoctoral studies at New York University, has taught various courses in legal theory, including the compulsory course in jurisprudence.

Arie describes himself as “a passionate teacher who believes learning is inherently enjoyable”, and his students clearly concur with 99.2% of the students surveyed agreeing that he was an effective lecturer in Jurisprudence and 99.5% agreeing the same for Law and Society.

Challenged with integrating and delivering theoretical and philosophical content to undergraduates, Arie introduced a new syllabus for Jurisprudence, which has led to an immediate increase in the popularity of the subject. “Rather than making the course ‘easier’ we now grapple with more primary sources and more thinkers at a higher level of theoretical engagement,” says Arie. “The goal is that students understand the importance of legal theory to the main fields of legal studies and practice,” he says.

Another innovation was the introduction of in-class check-ups to ensure feedback to students throughout the semester, as well as changing the final exam from an in-class to a take-home one. “This allows students the time to express more nuanced positions and better reflect their knowledge and abilities,” he says.

Arie employs new technologies to assist his lecture presentations, including using Prezi, a relatively new platform that allows him to map an entire lecture on one slide and then zoom in on particular topics. And the students appreciate it. Students describe Arie as passionate, engaging, and a thought-provoking teacher. A typical comment is “He really cares about his students and it shows in the way he teaches.”

During his two short years here, Arie has also designed two new courses: one on statutory interpretation and the other on the philosophy of private law. “My law school students are not philosophers, and many of them have no particular interest in philosophical questions. The burden is on me to highlight the relevance and value of legal theory to them and make the connection between philosophical questions and the study of law,” he says. “And most importantly, the burden is on me to make classes valuable and enjoyable for everyone involved. That is the best way to be an effective teacher.”

New approach to legal theory proves a winner

10 June 2016

Dr Arie Rosen has been awarded a Faculty of Law Teaching Excellence Award in recognition of his approach to improving teaching and learning, particularly of legal philosophy and legal theory.

Arie, who joined the Faculty Academic staff in January 2014 after completing his doctoral and postdoctoral studies at New York University, has taught various courses in legal theory, including the compulsory course in jurisprudence.

Arie describes himself as “a passionate teacher who believes learning is inherently enjoyable”, and his students clearly concur with 99.2% of the students surveyed agreeing that he was an effective lecturer in Jurisprudence and 99.5% agreeing the same for Law and Society.

Challenged with integrating and delivering theoretical and philosophical content to undergraduates, Arie introduced a new syllabus for Jurisprudence, which has led to an immediate increase in the popularity of the subject. “Rather than making the course ‘easier’ we now grapple with more primary sources and more thinkers at a higher level of theoretical engagement,” says Arie. “The goal is that students understand the importance of legal theory to the main fields of legal studies and practice,” he says.

Another innovation was the introduction of in-class check-ups to ensure feedback to students throughout the semester, as well as changing the final exam from an in-class to a take-home one. “This allows students the time to express more nuanced positions and better reflect their knowledge and abilities,” he says.

Arie employs new technologies to assist his lecture presentations, including using Prezi, a relatively new platform that allows him to map an entire lecture on one slide and then zoom in on particular topics. And the students appreciate it. Students describe Arie as passionate, engaging, and a thought-provoking teacher. A typical comment is “He really cares about his students and it shows in the way he teaches.”

During his two short years here, Arie has also designed two new courses: one on statutory interpretation and the other on the philosophy of private law. “My law school students are not philosophers, and many of them have no particular interest in philosophical questions. The burden is on me to highlight the relevance and value of legal theory to them and make the connection between philosophical questions and the study of law,” he says. “And most importantly, the burden is on me to make classes valuable and enjoyable for everyone involved. That is the best way to be an effective teacher.”