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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR JUSTICE TEACHING INSTITUTE
What grade levels and schools does the Justice Teaching Institute (JTI) serve?

Do public school teachers receive in-service credit for participating in the JTI?

Can private school teachers participate in the JTI?

What is a typical agenda for the Justice Teaching Institute?

What role does mediation play in the JTI's curriculum?

What is the cost for attending the Program?

How often is the JTI offered?

What is the Partners Program?

How is the JTI funded?

Who do I contact for further information about the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida's Justice Teaching Institute?


What grade levels and schools does the Justice Teaching Institute (JTI) serve?
The Justice Teaching Institute serves public school teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade.

Do public school teachers receive in-service credit for participating in the JTI?
Yes. The Miami-Dade Public School System has agreed to provide in-service credit for all teachers participating in the JTI.

Can private school teachers participate in the JTI?
Yes. It is our goal to expand the JTI to include private school teachers K-12 in order to empower all of our youth in the community.

What is a typical agenda for the Justice Teaching Institute?
The day-long program begins with the distribution of materials, followed by a slide show during which Chief Judge offers a general and factual orientation called "Legal System 101." During this presentation, questions are encouraged as the Chief Judge outlines the structure of the state court system and specifically focuses on the structure of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, its separate and distinct divisions, and the types of cases filed in each division. The participants are then divided into groups and during the next two hours, rotate among the different mini-seminars so that they may attend each workshop. The workshops generally include:
1. "Surfing the net" on individual computers to identify and learn to use educational law-related web sites, and practice using an educational CD-Rom program entitled "We The People";
2. Understanding the difference between trial practice and alternative disputere solution during which the participants "try a case" before a judge and then determine the outcome with a mediator;
3. Understanding one's constitutional rights. The lunch hour features a Florida Supreme Court Justice or former Justice discussing topics such as ethics, public trust and confidence, and the importance of an independent judiciary.
Following lunch, teachers learn the case study method by reading and then "trying" a Supreme Court case that has set a precedent in our history. Participants learn how to teach the case study method through reviewing the actual case with a teacher's study guide. The final session varies. Typically, this may include: presentations by lawyers about community resources; "Law and Media" in which judges review headline stories and the legal principles behind them; and discussion by graduates of the Institute of lesson plans that have worked for them as a result of attending the program. Finally, the teachers are asked to evaluate the sessions. At the conclusion of the Institute, the teachers receive certificates of participation.

What role does mediation play in the JTI's curriculum?
The JTI prepares teachers on how to use mediation as a way to identify and resolve disputes between students, students and teachers or administrators, and students and family members. It is an extremely effective method of helping students learn how to resolve disputes in a nonviolent manner.

What is the cost for attending the Program?
There is no fee for participants to attend the JTI.

How often is the JTI offered?
The JTI is offered 2-3 times a year.

What is the Partners Program?
This program "partners" JTI graduates with judges and lawyers who have volunteered to work with a specific school and offers the teacher resource materials and legal information and support. The commitment from both partners is to have an ongoing relationship throughout the year so that members of the legal community will serve as liaisons for all existing and anticipated law related programs at that teacher's school. Guest speakers are also provided through the Court's Speaker's Bureau for career day presentations and other classroom activities.

How is the JTI funded?
The Institute gratefully acknowledges funding and in-kind contributions from the Florida Law Related Education Association (a private, non-profit corporation established by Florida state law); the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Miami-Dade Public School System. Of the remaining expenses, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida donates the time of professional, technical and custodial employees and provides for printing, office supplies, photocopying, coffee supplies, microphones, podiums and miscellaneous items.

Who do I contact for further information about the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida's Justice Teaching Institute?
Please contact Eunice Sigler, Office of Government Liaison and Public Relations by phone at 305-349-8888.
 
 

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