Teaching the Fundamentals of Law

Although the transition in the curriculum has the one currently being implemented throughout all progressive basic learning institutions expressly highlighting all the learning areas covered, the truth is there has always been lot more to what pupils learn than what is explicitly defined in the core syllabus. By the very makeup of the typical classroom structure and everything around that institution, kids are taught all manner of things through their mere participation.

They learn a whole lot of life and social skills along with being constantly presented with an opportunity to hone all these skills they learn, including the various lessons of the core academic syllabus. The role of law in society and how it applies to them is one such on-going lesson for example and kids are pretty much taught what’s wrong and right, and that sometimes the system erected to enforce those virtues don’t always work efficiently.

The modern syllabus which admittedly is evolving as we go along seeks to incorporate the fundamentals of law a little more actively however, but the way we teach these legal fundamentals is generally still passive – it’s not imparted through an aggressive method of instruction.

Incorporation into language lessons

Comprehension remains a learning area which is central to any language syllabus, particularly if it’s the primary medium of instruction which the learners take as their first language. So when we introduce the teaching of the fundamentals of law we incorporate the key lessons into the standardised language test, particularly the comprehension bit.

It becomes more than just a lesson of language and grammar and more than just a lesson in interpretation of the language itself as medium of communication. Rather, a legal lesson or a few legal lessons are included in the theme of the comprehension test and learners are naturally tested on these legal fundamentals to gauge what they already know.

Surprisingly or perhaps unsurprisingly most learners generally very easily know how to separate right from wrong, but the challenge starts to come in when we begin to introduce dynamics such as what choices people make in spite of their knowledge of what’s right and wrong. We try to be very careful with this because in a sense it begins to peel away at the layers of innocence children enjoy as part of their early childhood existence.

Issues of morality or integrity versus consequence come into effect and to a certain extent the children’s own integrity is tested. Fortunately though at this age children are very impressionable and when we’re going through the answers those who demonstrated a bit of delinquency tend to get right back in line in fear of being different to their peers.

Granted, at this stage any learner who goes through the lessons in the fundamentals of law is still very far from something like taking up a career at the likes of Groth & Associates, but even at this early stage some learners who might make for the perfect fit in the legal field already start emerging.