Brief abstracts of conference sessions will be listed here once the final program has been confirmed.

Title: Myanmar Empowerment: Best Practices in Global Collaborations

Lead Presenter: Tushaus, David


  1. Hubbard, Britane
  2. Win, Soe Thiri

Session Abstract: This panel will discuss the benefits of peer research and teaching. This proposal is intended for a 90 minute total slot. It will be "Panel #2" for 45 minutes. It should be paired with “Panel #1” the other 45 minute proposal titled The Birth, Growth, and Nurturing Of A Cle Program in Myanmar proposed by Mary Pat Treuthart, Professor of Law, Gonzaga University School of Law. Law school clinics can empower their students, faculty and communities through community needs assessments (CNA). Faculty teach students the knowledge, skills and values that are a hallmark of clinical legal education (CLE) when they form a research team to study a legal issue, develop a research plan and determine the community’s needs. Few CLE activities provide a more well-rounded scope of learning activities. Myanmar and U.S. research students and faculty will discuss the benefits of a CNA through the experience of conducting research projects in Myanmar. Students develop research and writing skills through literature reviews. They learn interviewing techniques by surveying community members or NGO personnel.. Finally, students practice presentation skills by presenting the CNA results to the law school clinic, community or at an academic conference. Conducting CNA is engaging in best practices and professional responsibility. As professionals we must ask the community or our client about their needs in order to serve their best interests. Having students engage in a research project to ask the community what it needs empowers the community and the students. It also provides an opportunity for students to engage in best practices by being client and community centered. This presentation will also discuss the value of peer teaching. The presenters will examine the work teaching law students at Taunggyi University in Myanmar for a NGO. The focus of the presentation will show the contrast between Myanmar’s current methodology of teaching through memorization, compared to the teaching methods of active and experiential learning in the Clinical Legal Education (CLE) curriculum. Volunteer U.S. students adapted a CLE English curriculum that teaches law and English through active learning methods. Qualitative feedback and quantitative data from surveys of the Myanmar students who attended the CLE English class will be used to examine the students’ responses to different teaching methods. These teaching methods helped model more interactive teaching techniques for the students and faculty in Myanmar. They also helped reinforce the importance of CLE and its methods of building knowledge, skills and values. Finally, they helped Myanmar students learn specific legal concepts and terms the students are generally not familiar with when they enter law school. In Myanmar, law students are taught in English, although the primary and secondary education systems and the law are conducted in the Myanmar language. The positive experience from peer teaching in Myanmar will then be used to discuss ways to incorporate more peer teaching opportunities for students within a law school and at other levels of education. The presentation will be relevant to clinics that already engage in CNA and peer teaching and those that do not. For clinics that are already engaging in CAN and peer teaching, they can learn how to reach out to other clinics to help them develop similar methods. In doing so, they can empower other clinics to work towards empowering their own students, faculty and community.

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