Dalhousie Law Journal


Legal education, Canadian schools, law courses, school programmes, school teachers, curricular enquiry, organisation, mass movement, educational development, unorganised character.


Law courses have exploded across school programmes in recent years. From one end of Canada to the other, thousands of students and hundreds of school teachers are now studying law. Just what they are learning is uncertain for, apart from a head count of those present in the classroom, there is little curricular enquiry and even less organisation. The effort appears to be an unled mass movement rather than a planned educational development. And its size is still growing. The origins of this explosion of legal interest explain its unorganised character. The pressure for legal education has come from the students themselves. Why the youth of the seventies should assert such an interest in law has not been investigated. Neither lawyers nor educationists have stopped to fathom the reasons. Instead, school principals and teachers have rushed about to satisfy demand. Their reaction has reason if not forethought. In an ever increasingly optional programme of studies at school, the students themselves can determine more and more the fields of their learning. Good or bad as an educational principle, once elective and alternative programming is admitted into the school system, teachers have no option but to respond to demand. Their lot is not to reason why, but to provide the subject-matter or become redundant.