Why do so many students find Civil Procedure so difficult — and different from other first-year courses? With these quandaries in mind, The Pedagogy of Procedure panel will explore teaching strategies designed to deepen students’ understanding of the doctrine, to animate the classroom learning environment, and to truly engage students through the use of intentional and innovative pedagogy. Our panelists will spotlight course topics typically covered in Civil Procedure that tend to be particularly challenging for students, e.g., pleading requirements, Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal motions (Twiqbal), discovery, Rule 56 summary judgment motions, personal jurisdiction, federal question jurisdiction, supplemental jurisdiction, and/or the Erie doctrine.
Particular Pedagogical Questions. In each topic area, we will ask panelists to address three central questions of pedagogy, all of which may be of interest to proceduralists and non-proceduralists alike:
Why is this topic difficult to learn — or teach?
What innovative teaching methods, insights, organizing principles, materials, exercises, and/or assessment techniques could be used to overcome or navigate these difficulties?
How do you teach this topic contextually — that is, how do you help to ensure that students come to see where this particular topic fits within the course or the procedural system as a whole and how it connects to other first-year courses?
Broader Pedagogical Challenges. We hope addressing these particular questions will also help to ignite a broader dialogue about the challenges of teaching and learning in the Civil Procedure classroom. These challenges (some shared by other first-year courses) include (1) explicating the substance/procedure divide, (2) examining the relationship between constitutional provisions, statutes, rules, and the cases interpreting them, (3) designing a course to ensure understanding of the synergistic relationship between doctrine, skills, and values, and (4) negotiating the distinctions between state and federal court systems, and (5) resolving the sequencing debate — rules or jurisdictional doctrines first? By program’s end, attendants should have some concrete ideas for tackling, in their own classrooms, both the theoretical and applied sides of the topics explored in new and inspiring ways.
We welcome the submission of one-page proposals that address the three central questions discussed above, and to the extent pertinent, the broader teaching and learning challenges presented by Civil Procedure, as posed in the working program description. In responding to those questions, please keep in mind:
• The proposal may address any Civil Procedure topic, but those of special interest are those listed — pleading requirements, Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal motions (Twiqbal), discovery, Rule 56 summary judgment motions, personal jurisdiction, federal question jurisdiction, supplemental jurisdiction, and/or the Erie doctrine.
• Proposals featuring any type of interactive learning exercise that will engage the audience and/or address how to integrate doctrines, skills, and values will be greeted with heightened enthusiasm.
Please submit proposals to the Program Chairs, Professors Patti Alleva and Jennifer Gundlach, via email at email@example.com and Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org on or before Friday, March 13, 2015. We look forward to reviewing them and to learning about your innovations and ideas for making Civil Procedure come alive for our students.