Learning law: Expertise differences and the effect of instructional support

Fleurie Nievelstein

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisThesis 1: fully internal

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    One of the main aims of law education in both the Civil (European-Continental) law and Common (Anglo-Saxon) law systems is to teach students to reason about cases. As reviewed in Chapter 1, students experience serious difficulties in learning to reason about cases, which seem to arise from the complexity of the domain, the way in which knowledge is acquired in complex domains, as well as the instructional approach widely used in law schools. This approach often consists of ‘learning by doing’, which means that students have to reason about lots of cases throughout their study by using information sources that professionals also use. The studies presented in Chapters 2 to 4 were designed to gain more insight in the kind of difficulties and the underlying causes that students with differing levels of expertise have when they learn to reason about cases in law school, as well as to investigate the requirements for effective instructional approaches that provide more support and might help to diminish or overcome the experienced difficulties.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Open Universiteit: faculties and services
    • Boshuizen, Els, Supervisor
    • Spoormans, Hubertus, Co-supervisor
    Award date18 Sept 2009
    Place of PublicationMaastricht
    Print ISBNs978 90 79447 25 1
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2009


    • expertise
    • laws
    • students
    • instructional support
    • concepts
    • worked-examples


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