The Four Pillars of Wisdom* A Suggested Law-Teaching Pedagogical Methodology for Arab Law Schools Philosophies and Practices: A Case Study of A Law Professor’s Experience at Kuwait University**
Dr. Mashael A. Alhajeri
Associate Professor of Private Law – College of Law – University of Kuwait
Unlike the situation in other disciplines, the Arab legal library noticeably lacks academic literature on methodologies related to professors’ law teaching experiences.
Since the researcher is a private law Professor at Kuwait University – Faculty of Law, the current study represents a case study of the said, covering both her philosophical views and applied practices on teaching contracts and torts, based on four pillars, these being (1) the Socratic method, (2) comparative law, (3) interdisciplinary research, and (4) community service.
Hence, this is a deconstructive case study of the researcher’s pedagogical experience in law teaching, aiming to provide a methodological roadmap for fellow faculty members in Arab Law Schools (be that the long tenured ones or the newly-joined), and to encourage them to start registering and sharing their methodically analysed teaching experiences through publishing, to make them accessible for colleagues all across the Arab world.
Indeed, this study aims to help fill a strongly felt void in the Arab academic institutional memory. Perhaps save for extremely few similar studies (if any, as far as the researcher is aware), this is quite a virgin area in Arab legal research and most legal scholars in the region – the researcher being one of them – have always been thirsty to an accessible body of knowledge that could guide them on their teaching endeavours.
Whereas some of what is discussed might me applicable to law schools at large, it is strongly emphasised that this study primarily targets the particularities of law schools in the Arab region exclusively, which are the limitations of this research.
The study is concluded with expressing a preference in the behavioural school of teaching (ie Behaviorism), which allows students a greater intellectual space, and a variety of tools. The research is presented in two parts, the first covers the philosophies that represent the theoretical grounds for this case study, whereas the second discusses the applied techniques.
Keywords: Academia, law, legal education, pedagogy, Arab law schools, Socratic method, comparative law, interdisciplinary research, community service, private law, contracts, tort.
* The title is inspired by the autobiography of Lawrence of Arabia: T. E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Imperial War Museum, London, 1991.
** This research was submitted on: 15/4/2020 and accepted for publication on: 14/5/2020.