Learning the law: an online suite of teaching tools

Learning the law: an online suite of teaching tools

About the project

Learning the law is an online suite of teaching tools for secondary specialist school teachers. It is suitable for students with a mild intellectual disability in years 8 to 12. Teachers in mainstream schools who want simplified materials on these topics may also find this a useful resource.

The kit is e-based and includes four short videos, and four teachers' resources with background notes and activities on the topics of fines, driving, sexting and consent. We provide training to help teachers feel confident about using this legal content in the classroom.

Evaluation

We conducted a research project to find out whether the kit improved young people's understanding of the law. We interviewed 104 students in four specialist schools about their knowledge and understanding of public transport and fines before and after they particiapted in a class on the Fines topic.

We worked with staff from RMIT University to analyse the data gathered, and found that there was a statistically significant improvement in young people's knowledge and understanding of laws about public transport and fines after they had particpated in classes using our Fines module. We also found some suprising results. 

See the full research report Does community legal education work? Researching the impact of the Learning the law education kit for young people with a mild intellectual disability (pdf, 2.34 MB) or the accessible Word version (3.84 MB)

This evaluation follows a study that investigated the impact of a CLE program for improving English language students’ knowledge and attitudes of the legal issues associated with buying a car. The findings demonstrate how CLE can change participants’ attitudes and knowledge of the law, and have been published in the Journal of Law and Social Policy: Does community legal education work? Educating English language students about consumer contracts

The legal issues

Picture of Learning the law education kit.

The kit covers four topics: fines, driving, sexting and consent.

As young people start to become independent and visible in the community they begin to encounter authority figures such as police officers and ticket inspectors. They also begin to form relationships with peers. Dealing with authority figures, and naviagting relationships can have legal consequences if young people don’t know their rights and make negative decisions, whether intentionally or not. For a young person with an intellectual disability, trying to figure out what to do can be even harder.

The kit is one of the few legal education resources made for young people with an intellectual disability.

To view the kit see Learning the law.

Professional development for teachers

In order to support teachers at special schools and those at mainstream schools who teach students with intellectual disabilities, we have developed a professional development program. This program is designed to increase the legal literacy and capability of teachers to deliver the module in their classrooms. It includes introducing teachers to the various tools in the kit, providing engaging roles plays and scenarios, and providing ample time to answer legal questions.

We can tailor professional development to other types of teachers or educators, if there is a strong need for training in the use of this resource. The program is free.

If you are interested in finding out more about our program, please email our Community Legal Education team at cle@vla.vic.gov.au.

Our partners

Our partners included the Victorian Department of Education and Training. We also worked with an advisory group of principals and teachers.

We acknowledge teachers and students at Berendale, Ashwood, Heatherwood, Marnebek, Naranga and Warringa Park schools who have contributed to the project.

Contact us

If you would like more information or if your school or community organisation is interested in training on this resource, please contact:

Community Legal Education
Email: cle@vla.vic.gov.au
Phone: (03) 9269 0234 and ask for Community Legal Education.

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