GALA - Gender And Law Association

Mainstreaming Gender in Legal Education

Three-day Teachers' Training Workshop

Objectives, Outcomes and Methodology:
This workshop has primarily two objectives. The first is to generate awareness of various gender issues in the whole range of law courses from personal laws and criminal law - traditionally accepted as sites for gender discriminations, to courses like taxation and jurisprudence, thought to be gender neutral, among law teachers. The second objective is to promote the democratic ideals of equality and respect for difference by choosing such teaching methods as promote these ideals. Students learn as much from what we say as from what we do in the classroom. Hence it is of utmost importance that the teaching methods and our classroom atmosphere promote these values. This training workshop aims to enable the teachers to teach in a way that promotes what we preach by changing the top-down approach of a lecture method to sharing and experiential learning methods having a student centred active learning approach.

It is expected that the proposed training will improve various skills of teachers for better and gendered learning by the students. The teachers will discover many skills to enhance student learning, e.g., range of teaching methods, formulation of new courses and revision of courses, issues relating to framing of question paper and just evaluation, etc.

The workshop is designed to demonstrate feminist teaching methodology creating an environment of trust, collaboration, engagement and empowerment and active learning by students. The workshop aims at actively involving all participants in learning how to plan and deliver classes, formulate courses, frame questions papers and evaluate student performance by actually doing these tasks during the period of the workshop.

Dates: 26-28 January 2007
Venue: Delhi University, North Campus, Delhi

Day 1 - Friday, 26TH January 2007

Session 1. Getting to know each other

a. Icebreaker to know each other and to brainstorm on issues surrounding gender

b. Dispelling myths about feminism/feminist movements, gender

Session 2. What do we teach and Why?

    a. Brainstorming to list out the range of reasons why do we teach law. . Should teachers of law engage with questions of social justice? If so, is gender powerlessness of some groups of people on the agenda? Necessity of engendering legal education. What is the most apt way of promoting democratic and egalitarian values?

    b. How to read black letter law? Relevance of law in society? Skills and competencies of a lawyer? Sensitivity to the issues of access to justice by majority of the powerless people in India? This segment shall be executed by carrying out practical demonstrations of reading legal texts in different ways.

Session 3: Engendering Teaching Courses

    How to start thinking what to include in a course and what to exclude? What do we want our students to do with the knowledge we give them? Course objectives and outcomes, course content, skills to be taught to the students, choice of method for teaching. This part shall be executed by brainstorming through live course outlines and readings.

Session 4: Teaching Methodology: Creating an environment of trust, collaboration, engagement and empowerment

a. How adult students learn - recognising difference among students

b. Critical legal theory vis-�-vis feminist methodologies - comparative pedagogical advantages

Session 5: post- dinner

Participants to work in small groups

a. Planning to teach a class - group work
Tasks for the participants working simultaneously in 6 subject groups

      i. Pick a topic which you think may be appropriate to introduce gender discrimination aspect in a course in the conception or operationalisation or administration of law

      ii. Identify the stage in the course when this topic may be taught without much opposition from the students

      iii. Spell out the aim/s of the class

      iv. Choose the teaching method and tools appropriate for teaching the class

      v. Write down the expected skills, abilities and competencies the students would have learnt at the end of the class?

DAY 2: Saturday, 27th January 2007

b. Demonstrations and Feedback


An occasion to meet with colleagues from Delhi Law Faculty and others in Delhi concerned with similar issues

DAY 3: Sunday, 28th January 2007

Session 7: Framing question paper

    a. Identification of skills, abilities, competencies to be tested

    b. Converting examination into learning opportunity

Session 8: Evaluating performance of students - excluding gender bias?

    a. Identification of criteria for evaluation and their relationship to teaching goals

    b. Teacher's ideological bias and fairness

Session 9: Reading and Research

    a. Exploring Relationship between Social Values and Law

    b. Use of non-legal materials

Session 10: Winding Up

Resource Persons:

Prof. Ved Kumari.
Dr. Ved Kumari is Professor of Law in Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, India where she joined as lecturer in 1985. She did her LL. M. (1981) and Ph. D. on the JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN INDIA (1994) from the same university. She taught in the Faculty of Law in the University of Jammu from 1983-1985. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Vanderbilt University, USA, in 1997. She was also a Commonwealth Fellow in Warwick University in the UK in 1998. Professor Ved Kumari's areas of interest are juvenile justice, criminal law, gender discrimination, and clinical education. Her books, articles and research papers have been internationally acclaimed. She has conducted many training programmes in national and international forums, including "Justice in Evaluation of Students", workshop offered with Professors Martine Geer, Margaret Barry and Catherine Klein during 3rd World Conference of Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) in Krakow, Poland in 2004; "Teaching Ethics" workshop by Catherine Klein, Fryderyk Zoll, and Leah Wortham during 2nd World Conference of GAJE in 2001 in Durban, South Africa; "Teaching Methods" in the Regional Legal Education Roundtable in 2001 by Unites States Education Foundation of India in conjunction with ILS Law College, Pune, India. Report of the last teachers' training conducted by her in collaboration with her colleagues Building Capacities: Learning from Each Other has been published by USEFI in 2006.

Prof. Amita Dhanda
Dr Amita Dhanda is Professor at National Academy of Legal Studies and Research Hyderabad since 1999 where she teaches courses on poverty law, administrative law, feminist jurisprudence, judicial process, law and psychology and justice education. Dr Dhanda has as part of her pedagogic effort been actively innovating to feminise the teaching curriculum and teaching methodology. She has a special interest in exploring examinations as a site for engendering education. She has along with Dr. Archana Parashar edited a collection of essays entitled " Engendering Law essays in honour of Lotika Sarkar" (Eastern Book Company 1999) as an effort to produce literature that will assist the process of feminising legal education. A further effort in the same direction is collection of essays Redefining Family Law (Oxford University Press forthcoming) which she is again co-editing with Dr. Archana Parashar.

She joined NALSAR after a fifteen year stint on the research faculty of the Indian Law Institute New Delhi. Dr. Dhanda has written extensively on mental health and disability issues and her book " Legal Order and Mental Disorder"(Sage Publications 2000) is a pioneering effort in the field of mental health law. The Supreme Court of India, the National Human Rights Commission and Ministry of Social Justice And Empowerment have drawn upon her expertise to evaluate the ground level situation of persons with disability and to design appropriate laws and policy. Dr Dhanda is presently actively engaged along with the disability community in negotiating a UN Convention on Disability Rights.

Prof. Kamala Sankaran
Dr. Kamala Sankaran is Research Professor at the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi. She has done her B.A. (Hons.) (Economics), LL.B., LL.M., and Ph.D. from the University of Delhi. She has taught for several years at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi and the Faculty of Law, Jamia Millia Islamia. She has received a Fulbright Post Doctoral Fellowship and been Visiting Scholar at the Georgetown University Law Center, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Her areas of interest include international labour standards, constitutional law, and gender and the law, and she has published in journals in India and abroad. Dr Sankaran is a contributor to the Halsbury's Laws of India. She has been Director of a Workshop on Legal Education and Access to Justice organized by the Campus Law Centre, Delhi University and the United States Educational Foundation of India in 2002, been Coordinator of the Workshop Theme on Engendering Legal Education for the Indian Association of Women's Studies Conference in 2005, and as Convenor of the revised B.A. (Pass) Programme Application Course on Legal Literacy introduced in undergraduate colleges of Delhi University, is involved in preparation of training materials and TOT workshops. Professor Sankaran is Secretary, Gender and Law Association.

Dr. Vasanthi Nimushakavi
Dr. Vasanthi Nimushakavi works as associate professor of law at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad where she joined as a lecturer in 2000. Her areas of specialisation have been constitutional law having worked on secularism in the Indian Constitution for her LLM Dissertation and on Environmental Jurisprudence for her PhD, both from Osmania University. She is currently teaching labour law courses along with courses on Clinical Legal Education and Legal Ethics along with postgraduate programmes in environmental law. Macmillan India has recently published her book on environmental jurisprudence in India. She has an interest in disability rights and gender along with concerns of other marginalized groups like labour. She has organised a panel on Renegotiating Labour Right at the Critical Legal Conference held in NALSAR, Hyderabad in September 2006.

Ms. Ruchira Goswami
Ms. Ruchira Goswami is Lecturer in Sociology at the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. She also offers courses in Human Rights Law and Gender and Law. Graduated in Sociology from Presidency College, Kolkata and completed post graduation from Calcutta University. She did her M.Sc in Human Rights from London School of Economics on a British Chevening Scholarship. Served as a Visiting Lecturer in International Development Studies, International Summer School, University of Oslo. Also teaches in M.Phil and Refresher courses in Women's Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata and served as guest lecturer in Sociology in Department of Engineering, Jadavpur University and Presidency College, Kolkata.

Ms. Goswami's areas of interest are Feminist Theories, Women's Movements, Gender and Law, Sociology of Crime. She has given talks in governmental and non-governmental organizations in the related areas. She is a member of Nari Nirjatan Pratirodh Mancha- an activist organization based in Kolkata working on rights of women and Maitree- a network of women activists and organizations in West Bengal. She is currently working on mainstreaming feminist jurisprudence in legal education as a member of Gender and Law Initiative (GALA).

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