Teaching justice: mock trials in late Victorian and Edwardian schools

 
  5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
 Free

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Histories of citizenship education in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain argue that school pupils were taught to respect the law by learning about the legislative and judicial systems. However, beyond the content of school readers and textbooks, we know relatively little about what this looked like in practice.

This paper examines a new method for teaching elementary and secondary pupils about the law in the late-nineteenth century: the mock trial.

In this embodied activity, schoolboys and girls played the roles of judge, lawyers, defendant, witnesses, and jury. Mock trials fused instruction and entertainment. Some pupils gave deferential performances of adult judicial institutions. Others used the formality of the legal process to settle classroom disputes, satirise important issues of the day, or critique gender inequality.

Using teaching advice on mock trials from teachers’ magazines and school magazine reports written by middle-class adolescents, the paper suggests that the school offered a relatively free space for pupils to engage imaginatively with an arena of public life from which their participation was heavily restricted. Mock trials show how teachers and pupils could overcome challenges like youth legal disenfranchisement and women’s exclusion from the legal profession to create new opportunities for juvenile civic engagement at school.

School mock trials therefore have important implications for our understanding of the place of the law in modern British popular culture.


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  5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
 Free

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2021-06-22 17:30 2021-06-22 17:30 Europe/London Teaching justice: mock trials in late Victorian and Edwardian schools This paper examines a new method for teaching elementary and secondary pupils about the law in the late-nineteenth century: the mock trial. https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2021/06/22/teaching-justice-mock-trials-in-late-victorian-and-edwardian-schools-260419 ,,,

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

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