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Teacher's Edition:

Finally got the Teacher's Edition for my The First Amendment and Related Statutes (2nd ed. 2005) out the door; glad to have that done. Most law school textbooks come with a teacher's manual, in which the author gives instructors some tips on teaching each section and each case, plus discussions of each problem (if the casebook includes problems, as mine does). Among other things, most teachers adopt a textbook when they start teaching a subject, and rarely switch after that -- this means that many, though far from all, of my adopters are people who are teaching the subject for the first time; and while they know a lot about most parts of the subject matter, there will inevitably be some sections that they just hadn't confronted before in their scholarship or practice.

But with the new edition of the casebook, I decided to do something that I hope will be more helpful to my adopters. The new Teacher's Edition is built on the principle that the instructor will be reading the cases in any event, and will have the text in class in any event: The comments, suggested questions, and discussions of problems should therefore be right there in the text, rather than in a separate teacher's manual that the teacher would have to read before or after he reads the cases. The Teacher's Edition (which the instructors get but the students don't, just as with the teacher's manual) therefore has five features that I hope will be especially useful:

1. Comments and questions about the cases are noted in the right margin (using Word's Comment feature). That way, as the teacher is reading the cases in preparation for class, or looking at the case text during class, the notes will be right there.

2. Key passages that are especially likely to arise in class discussions are highlighted, so the teacher can easily find them when he or a student brings them up. The highlighting is not meant to identify the most important sections -- the teacher will know which those are. But it should help the instructor find those sections when he wants to mention them to the students ("The Court does say in the third paragraph of p. 123 that ...") or if the students ask you in class about them ("Didn't the dissent say somewhere that ...?").

3. The full discussion of each problem is included on separate pages right alongside the problem. That way, the teacher doesn't have to leaf through a separate Teacher's Manual to find the problem, and he doesn't have to keep both the caseboook and the manual open to the proper page: The discussion is right there in the Teacher's Edition, at most a few pages away from the problem; the discussion of the problems on p. 7, for instance, is right there between p. 6 and p. 7.

4. The subheadings from the full discussion of each problem are noted in the right margin near the problem itself, as a brief outline of the discussion. This may make it easier to bring class back on track when students digress, and to make sure that some important issues aren't missed in the heat of battle.

5. Despite all this, the teacher's edition is paginated just like the textbook, so the teacher and the students can understand each other when they talk about "the second to last paragraph on p. 437." (I did this by including all new material either as marginal comments that don't throw off the pagination, or as entirely separate pages that I then merged into the PDF file using Adobe Acrobat.)

I suspect that others have tried this in other disciplines, but I think this is pretty original for law casebooks. Perhaps if this works out, others will decide to do something similar for their works.

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