The Role of Legal Education in Development of Students Personal Competences: Conceptions of 10-12 Grade Students and School Staff

Živilė Vilma Jonynienė, Lina Petrauskienė

Abstract


One of the main goals of the educational institution is to enable a person/student to become active, independent and responsible, to promote the personal skills and competences (including knowledge, skills and values) of a student, enabling them to shape their own and the community’s life independently, critically.
Democracy requires knowledge of Legacy, so a clear and strict National policy on Legal education is needed. In Lithuania, the program of legal education of the society was approved in 2008. Legal education is described as an activity where a person has possibilities to acquire legal knowledge and skills, is acquainted with legal regulations and the actual legal system, human rights, freedoms, responsibilities and the ways of protection of human rights.
Previously done research shows that Legal education implemented in educational institutions seeks to guarantee acquisition of knowledge, skills and values that correspond to the legal provisions. It shapes formation of student’s personal competences in a way that students are enabled in their everyday life to follow the law, morality and other social rules, determined by internalized legal culture and consciousness.
This article aims to disclose the importance of legal education in development of children’s personal competences. The research was based on perceptions of 10–12 grade students and professionals of educational institutions (educators) regarding the realities and values of legal education. 328 students and 181 professionals of educational institutions from various types of schools in the area of Vilnius participated in the research in 2011. Research results show that students and educators think that the most significant topics in legal education are Human Obligations and Human Rights and Freedoms; educators and students have a different understanding of them. The topics that are scarce in legal education for children are, for example, International Law, while educators think that children lack most of all the education on Human Obligations and Laws, their purpose in society. Students and educators share the conception that most of all legal education develops students’ skills to argue and express their reasoned opinion, to collaborate and solve problems rationally; legal education promotes and strengthens a person’s respect of themselves and others, tolerance and responsibility.
In daily life, according to the respondents, legal education most of all is helpful in defending personal rights and in addressing community issues.

Keywords


legal education; personal competences; moral values; skills; legal consciousness; students’ conceptions; conceptions of the school staff

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789