by Alice Lee, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, HKU; Enoch Chan, HKU BSS(GL)&LLB (2019); Matthew Cheung, HKU BBA(Law)&LLB (2019); Phoebe Woo, HKU BA&LLB (2019); and Steve Lee, HKU LLB (2019)
Tertiary education is supposed to be reciprocal: the teacher delivers knowledge to his/her students, and students, based on what they have learnt, give feedback so that the teacher can make adjustments and respond to students’ educational needs (Bain 2012).
In the law classroom, however, the teacher rarely receives replies when he/she asks a question, and students almost never tell their teachers how well they learn in the course. What can students and teachers do to increase reciprocity? Our answer is … join together and form partnerships! We, a law teacher and a group of law students from four different undergraduate degree programmes at the University of Hong Kong,1 founded a student-teacher initiative called Legal Education Aligned with Diversity (LEAD) in 2017. Through sharing what we have gained from this initiative, we would like to show that student-teacher partnership can contribute to an interactive and effective learning environment.
Legal Education Aligned with Diversity (LEAD)
The purpose of LEAD is to promote collaboration between students and teachers in the teaching and learning of law. We believe that by joining students and teachers together, we can ‘open up new spaces for learning, dialogue and inquiry’ (The Higher Education Academy, 2015) and ‘offer the potential for a more authentic engagement with the nature of learning itself and the possibility for genuinely transformative learning experiences for all involved.’ (Healey, Flint & Harrington, 2014)
One of our (LEAD’s) greatest achievements is the production of a series of educational videos (available here) that explain land law principles such as the doctrine of
proprietary estoppel and constructive trust. The videos have been and are still included in the teaching materials for land law, a full-year core subject for all law undergraduates in their second or third year of studies.
What LEADers have learnt in the video-making project
‘LEAD’s video-making project enabled me to study law in an enjoyable way. As a member of the script-writing team, I was motivated to read judgments and engage in academic decisions. I also learnt how to explain complex legal principles through creative means.
Having decided that our videos were to be grounded in authentic legal cases, my teammates and I worked out the plot for each video by studying the relevant judgments in detail. All of us were very willing to share our own interp