14 March 2019 | Learning & Teaching Forum paper

Teaching Thinking: Piloting Advanced Legal Reasoning through Inverted Learning

Maria Cahill (University College Cork)

Seven years ago, Advanced Legal Reasoning was first offered as a final year module at University College Cork, Ireland. Not only was this course pioneering in its ambition to teach students how to reason well, it also did so by developing an innovative active learning pedagogical approach called Inverted Learning, a modified version of the ‘flipped classroom’ phenomenon.


The four principles of Inverted Learning, viz. (1) first exposure responsibility; (2) support for experimentation; (3) expectation of mastery; and (4) humanization of the classroom, inculcate the virtues of intellectual autonomy, intellectual courage, intellectual humility and intellectual charity, respectively, are valuable in the development of capacity for legal reasoning, but their usefulness goes beyond this specific context. This article explains the principles of Inverted Learning, outlines their application in Advanced Legal Reasoning and concludes by suggesting their transferability to other disciplinary contexts where critical thinking is a key intellectual ambition.

ISSN 2593-9602

This paper was presented at the 2019 European Learning & Teaching Forum and reflects the views of the named authors only.

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