Court Education Programs
This explainer on court education programs is a follow up to our previous explainer ‘What is Court Education?’ and will include details of current court education programs in Australia and internationally.
The pedagogy of court education predominantly involves the provision and delivery of formal education programs. These teach students about the operation of a key civic institution, the court, and its personnel and daily operation as part of the fabric of a formal legal system. What is Court Education? blog
What is a Court Education Program?
Court education programs around Australia have some common characteristics.
- Delivered to young people with a range of ages and educational attainment, from upper primary school to high school and university
- Curriculum links to both school and university syllabuses
- Modes of delivery include; experiential excursions and/or incursions, digital provision of teaching resources and student activities, and physical ‘paper’ resources that are supplied directly to teachers
- Focus on building understanding of law, courts, justice, trials, advocacy and legal personnel and careers
Experiential court education programs are either based in a contemporary or historical court building or are delivered in schools or universities to students by teachers or professional court educators. They are often structured around either a court observation or a mock trial and their pedagogy is grounded in a constructivist approach which:
provide[s] more open opportunities for the student to explore a topic and to construct their own understandings. However, although exploratory learning can be very powerful, it usually does not work well without guidance. Innovating Pedagogy 2020 p. 12
The table below sets out the current key court education program models available within Australia and internationally in the common law world. It will be updated as the research project discovers further programs available for school students to access.