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DO CRIMINAL TRIALS TEACH INSTRUCTORS ABOUT LIFE IN SOCIETY?

  • I was wondering while I was watching the James Holmes theater shooting trial what we could use to realistically portray life for students in the classroom. I have bloggged about my method of generating classroom discussion by using videos, and intense classroom social interaction, as a way to develop learning-centered and student centered methods.

    In sociology we try to bring human conduct to some sort of reality by by creating an environment where students feel part of  classroom activities. If one were to watch this important trial we seee many different themes that could augment studying sociology in the first place. In the Holmes trial we have a number of issues that fit a learning-centered methodology. Some of them are the following.

    1-Arguments relating to an understanding of morality and the insanity defense.

    2-Arguments related to how serious mental disorders, like schizophrenia, pervade our criminal justice system.

    3-The etiology of the mass murderer and why are these trajic events so pervasive.

    4-The famous gun control debate and why we cannot reform gun control laws.

    5-The right to a speedy trial guranteed by the constitution. Why does it take so long for the justice system to bring a felon to trial?

    6-The use of medication defenses where the defendant has commited the crime because the drug caused him or her to do it?

    7-The identification of why so many people go untreated with illnesses such as schizophrenia and manic-depression.

    8-Wh do expert witnesses have such impact on murder trials.

    So, this is some of the topics that come out of high profile trials that are streamed everyday on your home computer. I wonder how many classses in sociology in political science, that could benefit from this unorthodox method of thinking about topics for discussion.

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2 comments
  • Melissa Hudler likes this
  • Melissa  Hudler
    Melissa Hudler Robert, these are interesting questions, and I can see how they would be very useful in a sociology or political science class. I don't teach either subject but can see the value of using this method in an advanced rhetoric class. These topics would make ...  more
    July 10, 2015
  • Robert  Ostrow
    Robert Ostrow Realism is a most important factor in life. Thanks as always Melissa.
    July 12, 2015

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