Student-Centered Learning and Lessons from Australia

Penny Pether is a Professor of law at Villanova University School of Law, where she teaches constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, law and literature, criminal law, and criminal procedure. In her Voices from the Field interview, Pether gives several suggestions for how the American legal education system can mirror some examples from her native Australia, including:

  • A focus on student-centered learning and teaching, with a focus on skills
  • Professors acknowledging their role in preparing students for practice, beyond simply imparting textbook knowledge
  • A commitment to smaller class sizes and individualized assessments to help students gauge their progress in a more meaningful way

Penelope Pether is a Professor of law at Villanova University School of Law, where she teaches constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, law and literature, criminal law, and criminal procedure. Prior to joining the Villanova faculty in 2005, she was a member of the faculty at American University Washington College of Law, and at the University of Sydney Law School in her native Australia, where she received her legal education and practiced law.

She is currently serving three-year terms on the AALS Standing Committee on Bar Admission and Lawyer Performance and the Organizing Committee of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture & the Humanities. She has recently accepted an invitation to join the Pennsylvania-based Graterford Prison Think Tank of the National Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.