Professor Jeff Giddings will press the activate button on a $90,000 Office of Learning and Teaching National Teaching Fellowship this week when the Griffith Law School hosts a major legal education conference in Brisbane (July 16-18).
Professor Giddings, from Griffith Law School, was one of only six academics nationwide to receive the prestigious teaching fellowship in the 2013 round, announced last month. The group also included Associate Professor Mark Brimble from Griffith Business School.
Professor Giddings aims to develop a framework to improve the supervision of students in law-related practice contexts is enhanced through the fellowship.
He will start work by running a workshop at the International Journal of Clinical Legal Education Conference at Griffith’s South Bank campus.
“Effective supervision is the key to learning from practical experience and I want to enhance the placement experience from the perspectives of both the student and the supervisor,” Professor Giddings said.
“This is about the reciprocal nature of practice-based learning. We need to identify and support the contributions made by supervisors and encourage them to continue to contribute to the future of their profession through such work.”
Professor Giddings will present an interactive workshop with Judith Dickson, director of practical training at the Leo Cussen Centre for Law, on day three (July 18) of the conference under the title ‘Common Ground in Supervision: Understanding both our shared and distinctive practices’.
“We will use scenarios to examine particular issues related to how we understand the purposes and practices of supervision,” he said. “Differences in approaches to supervision in different countries and across different clinical models will be explored.”
As part of the teaching fellowship, Professor Giddings will also work with colleagues across Australia to provide a series of workshops for supervisors during 2014.
An online survey will also be set up to investigate current student supervision arrangements in programs involving Australian law students.
“I will develop a website to facilitate the sharing of best practice in clinical legal education between institutions and legal organisations/associations.
“The website will include resource manuals and kits for students and supervisors involved in placement programs. One of the new elements will be my focus on preparing students to be good supervisees.”
Professor Giddings’ new book Promoting justice through clinical legal education will be launched during the conference, which runs from July 16-18.