ERIC Number: ED289238
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Multiple Dimensions of School Law Courses.
Sacken, Donal M.
This paper offers some reflections on reconstructing the role of school law instruction in colleges of education, and specifically in administrator preparation programs. Three aspects of a school law course are discussed as they relate to the typical path of educational administrators' academic preparation. The "translational dimension" of school law refers to the original function of school law courses, which is simply to instruct educators in the legal concepts necessary to discharge their duties, so that they will not violate the law from ignorance. Typical school law courses involve an exposition of important case law to show the variability of legal outcomes, on the assumption that educators will better serve professionally if they comprehend the basic nature and application of legal principles and the adjudicative process. This approach, however, is seen as insufficient because it looks at law in isolation from other types of knowledge about educational organizations. An integrative approach which views legal decisions prismatically from the perspective of scholarship in several different disciplines is, therefore, recommended. For example, insights from sociological analysis and management theory could be brought to bear on legal issues such as school desegregation, teacher dismissal, collective bargaining, and teacher student relations. The third aspect of school law courses is the foundational aspect, which addresses the historical precedence and development of legal decisions in education. Another foundational perspective that can be highlighted in school law is the ethical foundation--the relationship between school law and justice or morality, and the moral ramifications of schooling and school management. The ultimate measure of a school law course, however, is its contribution to the overall intellectual training of school administrators. (TE)
Descriptors: Administrator Education, Course Content, Course Objectives, Course Organization, Curriculum Enrichment, Higher Education, Law Related Education, Legal Education (Professions), Postsecondary Education as a Field of Study, Professional Education, School Law, Teacher Educators, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration (Charlottesville, VA, October 30-November 1, 1987).