Professor Karin Mika presented at the Legal Writing One Day Workshop held at Miami School of Law on December 6th. The title of her presentation was “The Dreaded Assumption: How Failure to Accept Generational Differences Makes for Bad Teaching and Poor Learning.”
The focus of Professor Mika’s presentation was on the fact that law professors must be hyper aware of how different students are from students of yesterday and ourselves. Students come from many diverse cultural backgrounds than ever before, and the information age has made it so that students no longer relate to any of the same common references that could be made in a classroom setting even a decade ago. It is not so much that professors need to be attuned to pop culture, or even present their material in a visually entertaining manner, but do need to understand that changes in the world have made it so a lot of elements of law instruction considered to be common knowledge are simply not common knowledge. Professors need to take the time to explain the context for case references in a way that students can relate and must be more attuned than ever before to references that can be construed to be offensive or degrading. Professors also need to be attuned to the fact that the informational age has lessened everyone’s attention span and that, after a certain point, information conveyed by pure lecture can no longer be absorbed.