Clinical Pedagogy: a systematic review of factors influential in the establishment and sustainability of clinical programmes and a grounded theory explication of a clinical legal education case study in Zimbabwe

Mkwebu, Tribe (2016) Clinical Pedagogy: a systematic review of factors influential in the establishment and sustainability of clinical programmes and a grounded theory explication of a clinical legal education case study in Zimbabwe. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

Background/purpose:
This thesis investigates the factors that have been influential in either promoting or impeding the establishment and sustainability of clinical legal education in Zimbabwe (Mkwebu, 2015; 2016). Previous work on clinical legal education in other jurisdictions suggest that clinical programmes within law schools can help law students gain practical lawyering skills essential for legal practice. Literature suggests that law clinics have the potential to provide a platform upon which indigent members of the community can access free legal advice. However, the cost of running clinical programmes has been found, amongst others, to be the most influential factor inhibiting the creation and expansion of clinical legal education. Prior to this doctoral study, there had never been any comprehensive study carried out to investigate clinical activity in Zimbabwe. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that, amongst other factors, the resource-intensive nature of clinical legal education is the highly influential factor in the establishment and sustainability of clinical programmes within law schools.

Research methodology:
The researcher adopted a systematic search strategy through the review question: What factors have been influential in the establishment and sustainability of clinical legal education? The search strategy undertaken between January 2014 and April 2014 resulted in the selection of a batch of 91 journal articles. Articles were analysed using a grounded theory coding system that identified several factors as having been influential in the establishment and sustainability of clinical programmes in other jurisdictions. To gain theoretical sensitivity in the field, the various factors identified from literature generated questions for exploration during fieldwork. Fieldwork commenced in Zimbabwe in May 2015 and lasted for three weeks. The legal aid clinic at Case A has a complement of five members of staff and they all participated in an audio-taped interview process. Transcripts were analysed using grounded theory.

Results and Discussion:
An analysis of the selected clinical scholarship identified 20 influential factors. Grounded in the data collected from Zimbabwe were 25 factors that have been influential in either promoting or inhibiting the expansion of clinical legal education at Case A. In general, the identified factors were broadly similar to the various factors identified from the systematic review undertaken before fieldwork commenced. However, the differential impact of factors in the Zimbabwean context was revealed, suggesting a more complex model.

Conclusions:
Firstly, the research findings support the notion that a systematic review is a method with benefits and could be used effectively in the field. Secondly, establishment and sustainability factors have been identified from the systematic review and from the data collected in Zimbabwe. Thirdly, the importance of the local context in the operation of these factors has been verified. Fourthly, sustainability is fragile and the researcher offers a series of recommendations drawn from literature. Developing receptivity to ideas from other interested stakeholders may be helped by adopting a robust institution-stakeholder partnership that fosters collaboration of ideas for sustainability as a framework.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M900 Other in Law
X200 Research and Study Skills in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2018 15:46
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2018 15:49
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/33653

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