Effectiveness of scenarios and the Socratic method in teaching law to construction students

Stephen David Mau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Is the use of scenarios combined with the Socratic method an effective method to teach legal subjects to nonlaw students on a building and construction program? The scenarios are intended to (1) enable students to understand the legal theories through the practical application of those theories to problems posed in a scenario and (2) stimulate reasoning, analysis, and critical thinking through the Socratic method among students accustomed to memorizing handouts of PowerPoint slides. Both qualitative and quantitative data were gathered and analyzed to determine the effectiveness of using scenarios and the Socratic method in a required, first-year, entry-level, law module. Preliminary data of this ongoing research appears to indicate that the former goal (of providing a practical application and understanding of theories) was generally achieved while the latter goal (of promoting analysis and critical thinking skills among the students) was achieved to a lesser degree. As a subgroup of the subject, students will be repeating the module, a rare opportunity presents itself to delve into this question in more detail in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-199
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Laws
  • Legal factors
  • Teaching methods
  • Engineering education
  • Curricula
  • Construction industry

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