Welcome to the ShortCutstv Blog

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

This is the part of the site we use to post anything we think might be of interest to teachers and students of Sociology and Psychology – from announcements about new Sociology, Psychology and Criminology films, to teaching and learning Notes, PowerPoints, web sites, software – just about anything that piques our interest, really.

At the time of writing there are around 400 individual posts on the Blog so we’ve included a range of functions (on the bar to the right) to help you find the stuff you want:

• Search Box: if you’re looking for something specific (it’s not very clever so try to Keep It Simple).
• Popular Tags: identifies the most popular keywords used in posts (the larger the word, the more posts there are about it).
• Popular Posts: identifies the post that have had the most views.
• Categories: allows you to filter posts by Sociology, Psychology, Simulations and Toolbox.

Finally, you can use the Subscribe box to be notified by email each time a new post appears on the Blog (we guarantee not to do anything with your email address other than send automatic notifications).

Sociology Revision Booklets: 4. Crime and Deviance

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

As you might expect, given its status as one of the most-popular a-level sociology options, when it comes to revision resources for crime and deviance both teachers and students are rather spoilt for choice.

I’ve decided, therefore, to split this post into two parts (probably – there may be more): the first (this one) has a range of Word / Pdf resources aimed at students, while the second focuses on PowerPoint resources teachers are more-likely to find useful for delivering revision lessons.

As ever, if you decide to use these resources you need to check:

• the Specification: is it the one you’re following?
• the date: has the Spec. you’re using been updated since these resources were created?
• the content: even if you’re following a different Spec., there may well be a fair bit of information crossover which means revision material produced for one Spec. may still be useful in the context of another.

Once you’re happy with this, I’ve found what I think are a number of useful revision resources:


Sociology Revision Booklets: 3. Mass Media

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

The third in our occasional series covering free revision resources on the web looks at the Mass Media (as you’ve probably guessed from the title).

The number of resources is substantially less than previous offerings on Theory and Methods and Beliefs in Society but what they lack in number is more than made-up for by the depth of their content.


I may just have been making that up.

Anyway, you can see for yourself by downloading any, or indeed all, of the following:

1. Media Revision Pack [Word version | Pdf version]: Although I’ve called this a Revision Pack (because that’s what it is…) it wasn’t originally created in that form. Rather, it’s an amalgam I’ve put together of a range of media revision documents, authored by Mark Gill, that cover:

• Ownership and Control
• New Media
• Representations
• Audiences
• Social Construction of News

Part of the reason for making the Pack available in different formats is that if you’d prefer to break the document down into its constituent parts it’s a fairly simple job to do this in Word. It’s possible to do this with a pdf document but that would mean faffing around with software that splits pdf files and you’re probably much too busy to bother with stuff like that.

The Notes themselves are coherent and competent, with good coverage of the major Specification areas (although it’s aimed at AQA there are parts that apply to other Specifications). (more…)

Your Own Personal (YouTube) Examiner: Part 2

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

A couple of months ago I posted about TeacherSociology’s YouTube Channel and its AQA exam technique videos and on the basis that if, in these testing times, you just can’t get enough of Sociology Examiners (particularly Senior Examiners – I’m not altogether sure what the difference between these and Non-Senior examiners might be, but I’m sure it must be Important) walking your students through exam papers, Mr Blackburn’s new YouTube Channel does exactly that.

The format is a simple screencast focused on an on-screen exam paper, with Mr Blackburn highlighting, annotating and talking you through the questions. This includes:

• how to decode exam questions

• exactly what the examiner is asking you to do for each question

• how to write high mark answers that covers everything required by the examiner.

At the time of posting there are two screencasts available, each lasting for around 15 minutes:

1. AS Paper 1 (Education) , covering all the questions.

2. A2 Paper 2 (Global Development), covering both 10 and 20 mark questions.

If you’re teaching or studying either of these AQA Sociology Units, this Channel is well worth a little of your time.

The Extent of Crime and How It’s Measured

Monday, March 19th, 2018

Another trawl through the Crime and Deviance pages from the University of Portsmouth reveals this set covering, in the main, the measurement of crime through official statistics.

The information in the pages is generally short (or, if you prefer, to-the-point) and gives the impression that either they’d run out of money, couldn’t really be bothered or just couldn’t find that much interesting and / or useful to say on the topic.

Having said that, some of the pages may be a useful starting-point for a-level students. (more…)

Why Don’t More People Commit Crimes?

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

In a world where most theoretical approaches to crime either focus on the socio-psychological backgrounds of criminals (most conventional criminology), the social contexts in which crime plays-out (labelling theory) or a combination of the two (radical criminology), one particular strand of criminology stands-out because it focuses less on trying to understand and explain why a minority of people commit crime and more on understanding and explaining why most people do not.

Control theories are, in this respect, a little different to most conventional forms of criminology and this set of pages from the University of Portsmouth looks at different aspects of this general perspective on crime through the work of different writers working in this tradition. In this respect it’s worth noting two things:

1. Control theories have a relatively long and persistent tradition – going back to the 19th century at least – in the explanation of crime and deviance.

2. The broad theoretical sweep of the general theory – explaining why most people obey laws and rules – means it has been interpreted in different ways by different writers, a diversity of opinion reflected in the following pages:  (more…)

Quick Quizzing

Friday, March 16th, 2018

This simple ungraded quiz idea, one that can be used to test how much your students have actually understood by the end of a teaching session, has been adapted from (or, if you’re a stickler for accuracy, shamelessly half-inched) the University of Waterloo’s “Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE)”.

The reason I don’t feel bad about this – apart from the fact I am literally without shame – is that the idea itself just a simple variation on the Exit Ticket quizzes popular in American – and increasingly UK – schools and colleges.

Be that as it may, like all good ideas it’s very simple and although it will involve a little more preparation than some other forms of feedback the information gathered will be worth the extra effort.

The basic idea here is that, near the end of each class, students take a short quiz designed to test, at a very basic level, how much they’ve understood about the work they’ve just done. You should, however, make it clear that the test is diagnostic: its purpose is to inform your teaching not to grade your students with passes and fails (which is why the CTC calls the quizzes ungraded tests).

The only interest you have in their answers is to help you understand what parts of the lesson were clearly understood and which aspects may need more work or explanation. The test is just a simple way to do this while everything is still fresh in their minds (or not, as the case may be). (more…)

Further Five-Minute Feedback

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Whatever teaching methods you use it’s not always easy to know whether your crystal-clear, carefully-crafted, teaching has actually been understood by all of your students.

This is something I’ve previously addressed with the original Five-Minute Feedback Form that allows you to quickly and efficiently collect some very simple, useful, information about the most important things students think they’ve learnt during a class.

One drawback with this Form, however, is that although it can be used to inform your teaching – are students taking-away from a class the most important points you’ve made about a topic and, if not, what can I do about it? – the format means you can’t easily explore deeper questions:

• What are my students learning?
• What are they not learning?
• Does my teaching always have clarity?
• How could something be taught better?
• What could students do to improve their understanding?
• What teaching techniques do my students like?
• What teaching techniques don’t my students like?

To remedy this omission, the Further Five-Minute Feedback Form – an idea I’ve adapted slightly from “The One-Minute Paper” developed by the University of Waterloo’s “Centre for Teaching Excellence” – lets you ask different types of questions depending on the specific feedback you want for each lesson.

• On some occasions you might want to ask a direct question to test student understanding (“What did you not understand in this lesson?” or “Was there anything in the lesson you found confusing?”). For this type of question where you might need to do some follow-up teaching with individual students, there is space on the form for them to add their name.

• At other times you might want to ask more general questions (“How could the lesson have been improved?) that don’t require students to identify themselves by name.

The Further Feedback Form follows much the same general principle as the original Form: you set-aside 5 minutes at the end of each class to allow sFurther Feedback tudents time to think about and complete the Form.

While it’s possible to use both Forms at the same time this is probably too much to ask of your students – and having to sift through a lot of feedback at the end of each class probably defeats the objective of the exercise.

If you keep the time students spend giving feedback to a minimum, a short, regular and expected session that closes the class for example, you’re more-likely to get honest and useful responses – particularly if your students can see you listening to and acting on their feedback. (more…)

Leave Nothing to Chance: An Education Simulation

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

“Leave Nothing to Chance” is, unless I’m very much mistaken (and I probably am), my first real attempt at a “proper classroom simulation”.

I’d like to say I’m excited about it, but when all’s-said-and-done it’s only a simple simulation.

On the other hand, I very much hope you like it, use it, develop it and share it.

Not necessarily in that order, but you probably get the idea.

Aside from this, if you need a bit of convincing about the content, the sim is designed to illustrate differential educational achievement and uses the mechanism of a lottery – or to be more-precise, a series of Key Stage lotteries – to explore how differences in achievement are, for sociologists, the result of material and cultural factors that occur both inside and outside the school.

The lotteries, although a central feature of the game (there can only be one winner. Unless you decide otherwise), are the device through which students are encouraged to explore, with your help, direction and guidance (you know, the teaching stuff), how and why different social groups achieve differently in the education system. They are, in other words, the glue that holds the lesson together.


Sociology Sim: An Exercise in Inequality

Friday, March 9th, 2018

As you may have gathered, I rather like simulations and this is another one I’ve found that can be added to the expanding list.

This particular one was created by Chris Andrews and is interesting, at least to me, because its focus on social inequality means it has applications right across the sociological spectrum; you can use this sim just about anywhere you need to illustrate structured social inequality.

Apart from its flexibility, it satisfies what Andrews’ calls four criteria for running a successful in-class exercise. A sim should:

• be simple and easy to learn,
• sensitise students to central motifs or aspects of sociology versus specific theories or methods,
• involve minimal preparation and resources
• be usable within one-hour length class periods or less.

You can, if you want, download the original article containing the full documentation for the sim that:

• Provides a general overview of and rationale for the sim
• Describes how to run the game
• Includes a debate and debrief section that explores how the sim can be used to illustrate different aspects of structured social inequality.

Alternatively, if you just want to view the instructions for running the sim and view some short Notes I’ve added about using the sim to illustrate and discuss structured social inequality in the context of Education, I’ve created a short booklet for just this purpose…


Psychology Learning Tables | 5

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any Psychology Learning Tables (Knowledge Organisers by any other name) so I thought I’d make a start on the backlog I’ve collected so far (if you want to see the previous Tables you can find them here).

If you’re unfamiliar with the format, Learning Tables are used to summarise a section of the course onto a single sheet of A4 (although some Tables do take minor liberties with this basic format). While the general focus is, as the name suggests, “knowledge” many of these tables interpret this quite widely to include examples, applications and evaluation.

Which, as far as I can see, is Quite A Good Thing.

If you’re not as convinced – or you want to edit the information contained in each Table to your own particular teaching and learning preference – I’ve left the Tables in Word format for your editing pleasure.

Slavishly following the precedent I foolishly set for myself, this next batch of Tables are in no particular order other than alphabetical:


Sociology Revision Days with Dr Steve Taylor

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Crime & Deviance: updated to 21st Century

Dr Steve Taylor, University of London & ShortCutstv

Examiners reward students for writing about contemporary society but there are very few examples of contemporary theory & research on crime in the textbooks. This Workshop aims to fill that gap by linking the ‘familiar’ with the new.

Approaches to Crime & Deviance: Key theories & concepts, consolidated, compared & evaluated.

New Research: clear, easy to understand, up to date research examples to illustrate approaches.

Globalisation & Crime: green, organised & state crime made accessible & illustrated with up to date examples.

Theory & Method: simplified & illustrated.

Handouts: include concise summarises of research examples used.

Exam technique guidance, including introducing newer material into exam questions.

Brand new free video “Sociological Theories of Crime” included.

What Teachers say
Our students came away inspired and were talking about the session for the rest of the year
David Gunn, Camden School
Excellent Day. He brings in contemporary evidence and great links to exam skills
Ann-Marie Taylor, Coleg Cambria
The students loved it. I’d recommend Steve to any teacher wanting to organise a revision day.
Ian Luckhurst, Bridgewater College

Cost (inclusive & regardless of no. of students):
Day: £500
Half Day £300

For more information:
Call: 07771-561521

Issues & Debates in Psychology

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Issues & Debates in Psychology

with Dr Steve Taylor, University of London & ShortCutstv

Issues & Debates is a key topic on both AQA & OCR & it’s also a great ‘transferable skill’.
This workshop uses an approach, developed over several years, that helps students’ with understanding, comparing, applying & evaluating Issues & Debates.

Clarifies the more difficult questions, such as:

• How can I illustrate the interaction between Nature & Nurture?
• What is Free Will/Determinism really about?
• When can & can’t Reductionism be used as a critique?
• What is Socially Sensitive Research?
• What is an ethical issue?
• And many more…

Exam guidance and practice for both specific questions & the opportunities for bringing Issues & Debates into a range of other questions.

Handouts summarise key up-to-date illustrative research studies.

Free Revision Videos on Issues & Debates provided for each topic.

What Teachers Say
Steve was engaging and had students’ attention the whole time. He gave them a different perspective that will enhance their essays and hopefully boost exam grades.
Priya Bradshaw Aquinas College

He was incredibly engaging. Definitely booking again!
Amy Speechley St Gregory’s College

Steve’s visit was loved by all the students and it enthused them to want more. A big thank you!
Sue Martin Farnham College

The workshop material was excellent, with studies that both illustrated the positions in the debates and really developed students’ understanding.
Rachel Hume Edgbarrow School

Cost (inclusive & regardless of number of students)
Half day: £300
Full day: £500

For more information:
Call: 07771-561521

Beat The Bourgeoisie: A Simulation

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Long-time readers of this blog may recall that around 18 months ago I posted a series of sociology simulations, under the general title “7 Sims in 7 Days”, one of which, Cards, Cakes and Class, focused on giving students a physical taste of social inequality. However, while I like the basic ideas underpinning the sim, it suffers from two major problems:

1. It takes a lot of time, effort and space to set-up and run.

2. It mainly focuses on economic inequality to the detriment of other dimensions of class inequality – specifically, cultural and social capital. While the former is, of course, an important dimension of inequality, students need to understand, discuss and, in this instance, experience other dimensions of inequality.

If you liked the basic idea behind “Cakes and Class” (and who doesn’t like to see their students suffer in the name of Education?) but were prevented from running the sim because you couldn’t commit to everything involved in setting it up, you might be interested in this variation by Dawn Norris (Beat The Bourgeoisie: A Social Class Inequality and Mobility Simulation Game). While it covers much the same area as Cakes and Class it does so in a way that’s:

1. Easier to set-up and run: you just need two groups of students and some questions.

2. Quicker to carry-out: Norris suggests the simulation itself should run for around 30 minutes, (with as much time as you like after for a discussion of content and outcomes).


Sociology Revision Booklets: 2. Theory and Methods

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

The second batch of a-level revision booklets covers that ever-popular topic, theory and methods.

As with previous offerings, both design and content can, at times, be a little variable and for this I take no responsibility whatsoever. Because I neither designed nor wrote any of the content. I am technically distributing it for your revision pleasure, however, so I do feel a modicum of responsibility for the materials.

Not enough, obviously, to indemnify you in any way, shape or form for any losses you may occur through using any of these resources. But enough to advise you it’s something of the nature of the beast that there’s frequently a trade-off between getting your hands on free resources and the currency of those resources. You need, in other words, to go through the resources you decide to use to check they conform to your current Specification: things, as they are wont to do, sometimes change. You also need to make sure you find ways of covering newer material that may not be included in these revision booklets.

That said, I’ve picked out some resources I think you might find useful and, where known, I’ve credited the appropriate source. Some might say this is so you know who to complain to if there’s anything you don’t like or understand but I would respond that it does you no credit to think that I might think like that. Or something.

Anyway, without further ado, you can if you so choose pick-up these free resources:


Knowledge Organiser Updates

Monday, March 5th, 2018

For those of you who just can’t get enough of free Knowledge Organisers, Learning Tables or Activity Mats, here’s a quick update on new materials.

The Hectic Teacher has added 30 new Beliefs in Society “Topic Summary Sheets” to the existing KO’s on Education, Family and Crime. This is for the AQA Specification, but a lot of the information can be applied to OCR, Eduqas or CIE (but this will obviously involve a bit of work on your part…).

These are all in pdf format but if you contact her and ask nicely they should be available as PowerPoint slides that can be edited to your particular lesson requirements.

Miss C Sociology on the other hand has been busy producing a new range of Organisers for both

A-level (Socialisation, culture and identity, Research Methods, Researching inequality, Globalisation and the digital world, Crime and deviance – all aimed at the OCR Specification but, once again, there is a degree of information cross-over with other Specs.) and GCSE (Key Concepts, Families and Households added thus far, with many more promised).

These are all available as PowerPoint Slides should you want to edit them in any way.

More GCSE Sociology Revision Stuff

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

While it’s possible to put-together a very reasonable – and reasonably comprehensive – set of revision resources from stuff that teachers have put on the web, there are a couple of things you should do before committing yourself to using these materials:

1. Check they are for your Specification – you don’t want to be revising the wrong Spec.

2. Check the Specification year / series to which they refer, particularly if it’s changed recently (over the past year or so). In other words, check the resources cover the newer required material and exclude older, newly-irrelevant material, from your revision.


These comprehensive resources combine things like notes, activities and advice and generally cover a number of different areas of the GCSE Specification. Three I’ve found are worth a look:

1. Whole Course Revision 2018: This is a serious, 100-page, GCSE Revision Guide, put together by Ian Goddard, that covers:

• Introducing Sociology
• Research Methods
• Family
• Education
• Crime and Deviance
• Social Inequality
• Power and Politics

Unlike a lot of the previous GCSE resources I’ve posted [link] this is primarily a revision schedule rather than a simple list of revision notes (although these are also included). In this respect the Guide covers:

• How to revise
• Revision schedule
• Personal Learning Checklist [link]
• Basic study notes to supplement other reading (the Guide refers to “Collins Revision GCSE Sociology” but if you don’t use this text substituting your usual textbook will be fine)
• Keywords
• How to answer questions
• Past question practice

2. Sociology Revision Guide: Although not as ambitious or comprehensive as the above – the focus is on key terms and Notes covering Methods, Family and Education, plus a short section in exam advice – this Guide by Debbie McGowan is nicely designed and makes a welcome addition to your revision armoury. Presupposing you have one. If not, you can start one with this.

3. Revision Guide for Students: A nicely-designed and cleanly laid-out hyperlinked pdf by Jonathan Tridgell that covers:

• Research Methods
• Socialisation, Culture and Identity
• Family
• Education
• Mass Media

While the focus is on brief revision notes the Guide also includes information on:

• Course structure
• Exam technique
• Revision Tips.


GCSE Revision Booklets

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

As with A-level Sociology, I’ve previously posted some links to GCSE Revision Guides and Resources over the past year or so, since when I seem to have picked-up a whole slew of guides and resources that I though it would be good to post.

So here’s the first batch of 10. They’re all in pdf format and I can take no credit (nor indeed blame) for the style and content – it’s a bit of a Curate’s Egg I’m afraid – but there’s something useful in all of them:

Sociology Revision Guide: Mainly brief Notes covering the Inequalities in Society Options, but with a useful section at the end where “Sample GCSE Essays” are analysed and annotated.

General Revision Guide: similar to the above but covering culture, socialisation, research methods and family (the latter ahs much more extensive Notes). Again, there’s a very useful section at the end where “Sample GCSE Essays” are analysed and annotated.

GCSE Revision Guide: Social Stratification, Research Methods, Crime and Deviance, Power and Politics (James Pearson): A set of short Notes on these topics.

Unit B671 Investigating Society Revision Sheet: less a “revision sheet” and more a comprehensive set of Notes for this Unit – Research Methods, Culture, Identity and Socialisation.

Unit B672 Crime and Deviance Revision Sheet: as above but for all aspects of Deviance.

Unit B672 Family Revision Sheet: And the same for the sociology of family life.

Unit 2: Social Inequality, Crime and Deviance, Mass Media (Michael Ellison): some very basic notes.

Mass Media Revision Guide: Lots of Notes covering all aspects of this topic.

GCSE Education Revision (James Pearson): This is a “Revision Activity Booklet” for Education that combines Notes with short exercises and all manner of exam advice.

Unit 2: Crime and Deviance Revision Activities: A whole booklet full of revision activities.

A-Level Revision Booklets: 1. Beliefs in Society

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

A couple of years ago I posted some A-level revision booklets / guides, one from Greenhead College on education  and three from Tudor Grange Academy (Culture and Identity, Education, Research Methods).

On the basis that you can’t have too many revision booklets (although, thinking about it, you probably can) I thought I’d post a few more I’ve somehow managed to collect, starting with three really-quite-comprehensive booklets covering Beliefs in Society (AQA), although they also cover useful stuff on Religion (OCR, Eduqas, CIE etc.).

Beliefs in Society is a comprehensive revision booklet that covers: definitions, theories, class, gender, age and ethnicity, organisations, science, ideology. It’s mainly brief notes with some relatively simple evaluation exercises.

Beliefs in Society too covers much the same ground, albeit in a less-detailed way. I’m guessing this is actually a series of teaching PowerPoints, based on the Webb et al textbook exported to pdf. I could, of course, be wrong (although admittedly I rarely am).

Religion and Ideology is by the same author (the somewhat enigmatic “Joe”) and although it suggests a focus on the “Ideology” section of the AQA Spec. it seems to interpret this brief very widely to look at theories, organisations, globalised religion, fundamentalism and a whole lot more. While it covers a lot of the same ground as the Beliefs in Society 2 booklet it generally does so in less detail. Combine the two and you’re got quite an effective set of revision (and indeed teaching) Notes.

Activity Mat

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

To accompany the Generic Learning Mat, I’ve created a complementary Activity Mat focused around a few simple activities that range from practicing paragraph writing to making synoptic connections between concepts, theories and methods.

This particular Mat contains 5 activities and it’s again been created in PowerPoint (use the Export function if you want it in a different format, such as a pdf file or Word document) to make it easy to edit. You might, for example, use a different mnemonic for the Paragraph Practice activity or want to replace some or all of the activities I’ve chosen with your own. (more…)

Learning Mats: A Generic Version

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

The Learning Maps we’ve previously posted have rightly proven popular, both because of their quality and because they meet a need for tools that help students to structure their work in a simple and effective way – one that has the added bonus of providing a tightly-organised and highly visual method of revision.

Good as they are – and I’d certainly recommend downloading them to see how they meet your teaching needs – they’re generally designed for a specific (AQA) Specification and while they can be edited to meet the requirements of different Specifications, students and teachers, this involves time and effort that might not always be readily available.

This led me to wonder about creating a generic “one-size-fits-all” version of the Mats – one that involved teachers doing absolutely no work whatsoever in terms of creating Mats that could be used in a variety of situations and ways across a range of different Specifications.

What I’ve tried to do in this Mat Template, therefore, is focus on what I think are the key elements students would need to cover for a good knowledge and understanding of a concept, theory or method (although, to be honest, I’m not sure about how well the version I’ve designed would work with the latter). In basic terms, this might involve:

• Describing a concept / theory / method.
• Identifying its key proponents, critics and studies.
• Identifying its strengths and weaknesses.


Why Did No-One Help James Bulger?

Monday, February 26th, 2018

“We’ll probably never really know what made two 10 year olds, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, abduct, torture and then kill two year old James Bulger on a terrible February day a quarter of a century ago.

But there’s another question arising from the James Bulger murder that has implications for all of us.

Why did no-one intervene to help the defenceless toddler? “

In this short article, “Why Did No-One Help James Bulger?”, Steve Taylor looks at the case in the context of Bystander Intervention.

Learning Mats

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Learning mats – originally laminated sheets containing simple questions, learning prompts and drawing spaces – have been around for some time at the lower (particularly primary) levels of our education system, but with the increasing interest in Knowledge Organisers, which in many respects they resemble, they’re starting to gain some traction at both GCSE and A-level.

Having said that, I’ve only managed to find a couple of examples of their use in A-level Sociology and none at all in Psychology. This may reflect a lack of knowledge about Learning Mats, a lack of interest in their application to A-level study or, more-likely perhaps, a lack of time to create them.


The Memory Clock

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Although revision, in all its different forms and guises, is an integral part of any a-level sociology (or psychology) course it’s sometimes difficult to know how to help students revise in the most efficient, effective and productive way – and this is where the Memory Clock comes into play.

The Memory Clock is a revision system developed by Dr Caroline Creaby of Sandringham School, a mixed Comprehensive situated in St Albans, Hertfordshire that’s fast-developing into a hot-bed of interesting teaching and learning research led by practicing teachers.

If you want to know more about the work they do inside and outside of the classroom have a look at the Sandagogy web site. The excellent Learning Journals they publish are well worth a read.

Anyway, back to the main point of this post.

The Memory Clock is an easy-to-learn revision routine designed to help students structure their time in such a way as to make revision focused and productive. The pdf I’ve posted is a cut-down version of Training Manual that focuses on three things:

1. The various elements in the clock.

2. A short explanation of these elements.

3. A practice session based on a Sociological question. Although this example is “the future of childhood” you can obviously change this to whatever question you want your students to practice. Similarly, if you’re teaching Psychology just substitute your own question of choice.

Try it.

You (and your students) won’t regret it.

Student Feedback Form

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

We’ve added a new category to the Blog called “Toolbox” (just click the drop-down menu in the Categories section on the right-hand side of the Home page to find it) to act as a repository for posts relating to the nuts-and-bolts of teaching. While these posts still appear, as normal, in the page timeline and can be keyword-searched, it should make it easier for teachers to find resources aimed at the mechanics of classroom teaching.

This, for example, includes things like lesson plans, knowledge organisers, revision materials and so forth, designed for teachers to take, use and adapt to their own particular circumstances and needs.

Although I’d been mulling this addition over for some time (the pace of change can be somewhat glacial – or, as we prefer to call it, considered – over at SCtv Towers) it was finally prompted by an example of a student feedback form posted on Twitter (unfortunately I forgot to note its source so I can’t give credit where it’s due. If you see and recognise your work, please let me know).

It struck me as simple, elegant and potentially very useful for both:

• students: they get an immediate, visual, indication of what they’ve done well and
• teachers: it’s a consistent and time-saving form of feedback.

I was impressed by the form and so decided to “make one of my own” based around the general principles indicated in the post. It’s more-or-less the same, although I’ve:

• removed a section on a student’s “predicted grade” and how effectively or otherwise they are working towards it (mainly because it’s not necessarily relevant for all schools).

• added a comment section where student and / or teacher can indicate what needs to be done to improve subsequent work. Although this is potentially very useful it might be time-consuming for teachers if they have a lot of students.

I was going to call this a “Simple Student Feedback Form” but then realised this makes it sound like a feedback form for simple students, whereas it’s actually just a simple way to give your students structured feedback quickly and effectively: when marking a piece of work the teacher simply highlights the relevant comment for whichever category and mark band the answer falls.

Anyway, I’ve created two versions of the form for you to download (or ignore as you see fit):

1. A completed form that includes mark bands.

2. A completed form without mark bands. You can use the annotation tools in Adobe Reader to add your own spread of marks for different types of assessment.

Knowledge Organisers: Media and Methods and Education

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Back by popular demand and with a brand-spanking new set of Tables covering media, methods and education. Each Unit is by a different author and the quality is, at times, variable.


These are pdf files so unless you’ve got a programme that will edit them you’re stuck with the information they have to offer. That said, they’re fairly recent (2015) and so are probably reasonably up-to-date and in line with the latest Specifications. There is, unfortunately, no indication of authorship…

Ownership of the mass media
New media, globalisation and popular culture
Selection and presentation of news and moral panics
Mass media and audiences
Representations of the body
Representations of ethnicity age and class


These are a little older (2009) and again authorship is a little hazy. On the plus side they’re in Word format so they can be easily edited if necessary.

Experiments and Questionnaires
Observation and Secondary Sources

Previous Tables you might find useful:

Table 1.

Table 2.

Table 3.


Again, not sure who created these or indeed when they were created. However, they are in Word format if you want to edit them.

Functionalism and Marxism
Feminism, New Right, Interactionism
Cultural and Material Factors

Previous Tables you might find useful:

Table 1.

Table 2.


Yet More Sociology Knowledge Organisers

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

The Learning Tables and Knowledge Organisers we’ve recently posted were all for the AQA Specification and while there’s a good deal of crossover between this Specification and OCR I thought it would be helpful to those following the latter if they had some KO’s to call their own.

These Organisers, all produced by Lucy Cluley, are, however, slightly different in that while some – mainly those for Research Methods – are complete, the remainder are blank templates. That is, while the author has designed various categories in areas like Crime Reduction Techniques or Research Methods, the actual content is up to you – and / or your students – to create.

While this has an obvious downside (someone else hasn’t done the work…) it does open-up interesting possibilities for revision work with your students, either individually or as a whole class.

In relation to the latter you’ll note that most of the blank templates are in PowerPoint (PP) format but if you want to use them with individual students simply use the PowerPoint Export function to save them as pdf files.


More Sociology Knowledge Organisers

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Knowledge Organisers, you may or may not be surprised to learn, are the classroom requirement de nos jours and while some (looking at you Michaela Community School) may like to casually lay claim to the concept / format as being something radically new and different they’ve developed, it really isn’t.

Here, for example, is one I made earlier (about 20-odd years earlier…) and if past experience is anything to go by I probably stole the idea from someone else (or, as I like to think, my efforts were influenced by those of others).

Be that as it may, if you’ve landed here looking for Knowledge Organisers, here’s another batch I’ve managed to find using my finely-tuned Sociological Sensibility (or “typing stuff into Google to see what I can find” as it’s more-commonly known. Probably).

These KO’s are slightly different to the various Learning Tables (LT) we’ve previously posted, but they are, to-all-intents-and-purposes, the same in terms of what they exist to do.

You will find, if you compare the two (otherwise you’ll never actually know), this batch is a little less ambitious in scope and design than the previous LT’s, so it may be a case of choosing which suits you and your students and sticking with those. Or not as the case may be.

Although the original files I found were in pdf format, I’ve converted them to Word so that you can more-easily edit them if you want to. The only difference between the two files is that rounded bullets in the pdf file have been converted as square bullets in the Word file.


Managing Crime: Situational Crime Prevention

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

More Crime and Deviance pages from the University of Portsmouth, where this time the focus is on situational crime prevention. These pages are mainly based around the work of Hough, Clarke and Mayhew (1980) and Clarke (1992) that situated the idea of crime prevention around three broad strategies:

• Increase the effort
• Increase the risks
• Reduce the rewards

While there are some observations about the theoretical basis of Situational Crime Prevention – including a short section on Routine Activities Theory that we’ve previously mapped visually – most of the pages are devoted to examples of the practical implementation of the various crime prevention strategies identified by Clarke (1992). If you want a visual representation of these strategies that complements the following pages, this PowerPoint is one we posted earlier. You’ll notice a slight mismatch between the PowerPoint and the Strategies listed below that comes about because the PowerPoint, by Cornish and Clarke (2003), has updated the “broad strategies” by adding two more: “Reduce stimulus” and “Remove excuses”.


1. Target Hardening

2. Access Control

3. Deflecting offenders 

4. Controlling Facilitators

5. Entry/Exit Screens

6. Formal surveillance

7. Private Security

8. Citizen Patrols 

9. Citizen surveillance

10. CCTV

11. Surveillance by employees

12. Natural surveillance  


I’ve managed to find a link to the Menu System used by these pages which means you can access them all relatively easily without having to go to each individual page.

If the page gives you an access error, simply refresh it and all should be well.


Discovering Sociology and Psychology

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

If you’re an a-level sociology or psychology teacher / student an obvious first-port-of-call for inspiration and resources, aside from the Exam Board, is likely to be the websites of the British Psychological and British Sociological Associations – and both provide a range of materials that are worth exploring (and some that, quite frankly, aren’t…).


The BPS, for example, has a diverse and extensive range of useful stuff, broadly categorised in 3 overlapping areas:

1. The Psychologist is an online magazine that covers all things psychological – debates, reviews, articles and the like – in an a-level friendly sort of way. There’s also access to the BPS “History of Psychology” online interactive Timeline and a link to:

2. The Digest  which, as the title suggests, consists of academic studies “digested” (i.e. most of the tedious, difficult and largely incomprehensible bits removed, leaving just the stuff students need to know). Although it’s helpful that each article links to the original research this is normally just to the abstract – if you want access to the full research you have to pay for it. However, if you do want to read the original study it’s always worth doing a search on the title because, this being the Internet, there’s always a reasonable chance that it’s been posted somewhere for free.

3. PsychCrunch podcasts are the third element in the BPS triumvirate likely to interest a-level teachers. This section contains a selection of 10-minute podcasts on a range of topics and issues. Most seem to be aimed at a general audience, but there are one or two a-level teachers / students might find useful.


Somewhat perversely, the BSA site doesn’t have the extensive range of resources of its psychological counterpart, but what it does have are two sections devoted explicitly to a-level sociology:

1. Discovering Sociology is a short section with two items:

What Is Sociology has a range of short articles looking at various aspects of what sociology is and . On the basis that if something’s worth doing once it’s probably worth doing twice, there’s also a completely different “What is Sociology” section on the main site that covers stuff like the Origins of Sociology, among other things.

Sociology in Action provides half-a-dozen very short (and I do mean short) examples of sociological research in areas like the family and the media). Unfortunately it all seems a little half-hearted and not particularly useful…

2. Teaching Resources, on the other hand, is likely to prove much more useful. The section has a drop-down menu containing subheadings for all the main areas of a-level sociology (education, methods, crime etc.) and this links to pages containing the free resources.

Research Methods, to take one example, has resources on The Hawthorne Effect, Correlation vs. Causality, Validity and Reliability and more, while Theory has materials on all the major sociological perspectives.

Each resource is built around some form of short exercise / lesson suggestion. This might be a simple experiment, article to read or video to watch:

Reliability and Validity, for example, suggests a simple, but quite effective, classroom measuring exercise to firm-up the difference between the two concepts.

Gender and Crime, on the other hand, points students towards a couple of online articles to read, from which they have to “create a table that outlines trends pertaining to women as victims of crime, women as suspects, women as defendants, women as offenders and women as CJS staff”.

Postmodernism is based on students watching a short YouTube video and using it to identify some of the key features of postmodernism, which is quite a nice, simple, start (and edges towards a bit of flipped teaching). This then morphs into looking at the media and religion from a “postmodern perspective” through a couple of classroom applications.

Although none of the resources on offer are particularly ground-breaking or earth-shattering but at least they’re free and it never hurts to check this kind of stuff out when you’re in search of inspiration…

Shortcuts to Crime and Deviance Vol. 2: Social Theory and Crime

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Three new films for teachers of Crime and Deviance.

On Demand (either 48-hour rental or to Buy)

Back in the day we released Shortcuts to Crime and Deviance Vol. 1 with the intention of following it with a second volume (provisionally – and somewhat disarmingly – titled “Shortcuts to Crime and Deviance Vol. 2“).

While the intention always stood – hence this current post on the long-delayed second volume – we got a bit side-tracked out of Sociology and into Psychology for a few years, mainly because even though we’re firmly based in the UK, much of our distribution and sales occur in North America. And our main American distributor was crying-out (not literally) for content.

As someone with a Sociology background who’s never studied anything more than “Social Psychology” (and then only at the level of “Is Goffman a sociologist or psychologist?”) it was actually a pleasant surprise to discover a “new subject” but the intention was always to make further volumes of Crime and Deviance. And so it has come to pass.

Although we’re still making Psychology films we decided the time was finally right to write some scripts and film some film in order to produce Vol. 2.

So that’s what we did.

We’ve put together three films to introduce some major sociological theories of crime – Strain; Labelling; Space, Place and (Broken) Windows (Right Realism) – with the aim being to:

1. Introduce and explain key theoretical ideas.
2. Identify key strengths and weaknesses.
3. Provide contemporary illustrations, examples and applications.


Origins: The evolution and impact of psychological science

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

The British Psychological Society has created a Timeline of significant dates the History of Psychology (with a few “interesting world events” thrown in for good measure) covering the period 1840 – 1999 (I’m assuming nothing much of interest has happened in Psychology since the Millennium? I could, of course, be wrong) that could be put to good use as a resource for something like Approaches to Psychology.

The format is simple but effective:

• click on a “psychological event” link and up pops a little box with a one-line description of – and picture to illustrate – the event.

• clicking a “find out more” link expands the information to a paragraph or three.

• click a “further information” link and you’re presented with links to pdf files, websites and video files (such as Ted Talks).

Your Own Personal (YouTube) Examiner

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Although there’s quite a fair bit of a-level sociology on YouTube (some of which we’ve contributed…) it’s probably fair to say most of it concentrates on Specification content – by-and-large the “stuff you need to know”.

While this is also, to some extent, true of the TeacherSociology Channel – there are Video Tutorials on areas like Family Life, for example – what caught my passing eye – and makes the Channel a little bit different from all the other’s vying for a piece of your precious time – are the short films on exam technique.

For these the basic idea is a simple one: create a screencast, narrated by an experienced a-level examiner, that hones-in on what students need to know / do / demonstrate in an exam to score the best possible mark for different question types.


Models of Policing

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

A second dip into the online world of the University of Portsmouth reveals these Pages on Policing that, as with their previous offering, consists of a range (6 in all) of unlinked pages covering different models of policing, mainly in a “text-plus-a-few-picture” style.

While the style leans toward the short-and-sweet, that’s no bad thing in the sense that the notes provided are well-focused on the topic at hand.

The level is best described as “good A2”: the language used and understanding demanded should be fine for most a-level sociology students, even though this is probably some sort of online University module.

Introduction: The ‘force-service’ dichotomy in UK policing

Policing Models: Short introduction to notion of different models of policing

Community Policing

Zero tolerance (including links to Broken Windows, mainly in America but with some reference to Britain)

Problem-Orientated Policing (POP)

Intelligence-Led Policing (ILP)

Accounting for Crime: Individual and Social Theories

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

I can’t remember how or why I stumbled across this series of online Crime and Deviance modules from the University of Portsmouth but I do recall it took a bit of digging to find and pull-together the various elements because there was no obvious way to link each page in the module.

First World problems, eh?

I’m guessing the reason for this is that there’s a navigation system controlling how the pages display hidden away somewhere behind a University VLE and, for some reason, these pages have not been individually password-protected.

I could, of course, be wrong but, let’s face it, the chances of that are literally infinitesimal.

However, if I am wrong, another explanation is that the materials are dated 2013 so it’s always possible they represent some experimental pages for a course or module that never actually saw the light of day. Although some pages seem to have had a lot of care and attention lavished on them (i.e. they combine text with pictures and, in some instances, short “Test Your Understanding” multiple-choice questions), other pages consist of blocks of text with nary a picture in sight…

Either way, this all looks to me like it was all designed for something like a law course, or at least a course that’s not directly sociological or criminological: although the material seems intended for an undergraduate course it’s not a million miles away from A2 Sociology. There’s not much here, for example, that an A2 Sociology student would find overly-difficult to understand.

In the course of my rummaging I managed to find quite a few (by which I mean “more than a couple”) modules of varying length, complexity and, to be honest, interest, the first of which looks at a variety of individualistic and sociological explanations for crime:


Psychology Learning Tables | 4

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

As I dig deeper and find more (and more…) examples of Learning Tables the initial “let’s post them alphabetically for convenience” plan seems both less and more appropriate – the latest batch being a case in point.

As you’ll see, they mainly come under the heading of “Alternative Theories” – which you’ll probably have noticed is alphabetically convenient but not very informative. This means I’ve then had to add a little bit of content explanation to save you having to download each file to see what it contains, which sort-of defeats the objective.

Some you lose and some you lose.

However, you can all be winners (see what I did there?) when you download these Tables (lovingly, I assume, created by various authors, which I’ve named where known).

In the main these Tables all tend to focus on (AO1) skills of knowledge and understanding, although one or two include helpful examples / applications. I’ll leave you to discover which does what. It’ll be our little secret.

As per usual the Tables are all in Word format, which makes it easy to edit them in whatever way you like:

1. Alternative theory: Atypical behaviour – Evolutionary theory (Gemma Ingram)

2. Alternative theory: Criminal Behaviour – Social Learning Theory (Miss K Elles)

3. Alternative theory: The Nativist Theory of Perception (Miss K Elles)

4. Alternative theory: Vygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive Development

5. Alternative theory: Non-Verbal Communication – The Evolutionary Theory (Miss K Elles)

6. Alternative theory: The Self – Eysenck’s Trait Theory (Miss K Elles)

7. Alternative theory: Sex & Gender – Psychodynamic Approach (Miss K Elles)

8. Application: The Self Real Life Application (Sara Callaghan)

9. Application: NVC (Sara Callaghan)

10. Applications of Research into Memory (Miss K Elles)

11. Application: Sex and Gender Research (Miss K Elles)

12. Applications: Research into Atypical Behaviour (Gemma Ingram)

Crime Displacement PowerPoint

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Over the past 50 years it’s probably fair to say that a great deal of the sociology of crime and deviance in both America and, to a lesser extent, the UK, has been orientated towards situational crime prevention techniques and strategies in terms of both practical strategies and theoretical explanations (such as Routine Activities Theory).

Part of the reason for this preoccupation with both building better – and trying to strengthen existing – mouse-traps is that there’s quite a bit of evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of various crime prevention strategies in reducing crime. Painter and Farringdon’s Stoke-on-Trent Street Lighting study, for example, is a case in point if you want to illustrate this idea.

However – and you probably knew there would be a but – when you’re looking at situational crime prevention in a-level sociology it’s always useful to have something up your sleeve for evaluation purposes and, in this instance, there are a couple of different types of “Yes, but…” evaluation you might want to consider.

T6: Types of Crime Displacement

The first focuses on six practical criticisms of SCP put-forward by Reppetto (1976) and Barr and Pease (1990) that describe various ways crime may be displaced by crime prevention techniques; that is, although a crime may be “prevented” it’s possible the offence is simply committed elsewhere, at a different time or by different people. In other words, while SCP strategies may give the appearance of “preventing crime” they may not be successful in every instance.

An obvious example here might be the presence of a burglar alarm on a property. This may deter an offender but if they simply move to burgle another, unprotected, property in the next street has a crime actually been prevented?

If you want to display the 6 types to your class I’ve put them into a simple Crime Displacement PowerPoint Presentation that should do the job adequately. If you’re not a PowerPoint Person the 6 types of crime displacement are:

1. Temporal: The crime is committed at a different time.

2. Tactical: The crime is committed using a different method.

3. Target: The crime is committed against a different target.

4. Territorial: The crime is committed in a different area.

5. Type (or Functional): A different type of crime is committed.

6. Transgressors (or Perpetrator Displacement): Prevented crimes are committed by different offenders.

While the types are, I trust, fairly self-explanatory you might want to think about examples you could use to illustrate each type (or maybe suggest one example if needed and ask your students to think of others). A relatively simple example of Territorial crime displacement, for example, might be something like prostitution or drug-dealing.


Psychology Learning Tables | 3

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Another batch of Learning Tables to help you and your students organise their knowledge and understanding of various (alphabetically-presented) areas of the a-level course. These have all, unless otherwise stated, been created by Miss G Banton.

As with the Part 1 and Part 2 Tables these generally focus on presenting (AO1) knowledge followed by an Evaluation (AO3) Table constructed around a PEEL format.

Ainsworth’s Strange Situation and Types of Attachment [Miss K Elles]

Anger Management
Animal Studies of Attachment [Miss K Elles]

Anxiety [Miss K Elles]

Behavioural Approach to Phobias [Miss K Elles]
Behavioural Therapy of Phobias [Miss K Elles]

Conformity – Asch’s Research
Conformity – Types and Explanations

Psychology Learning Tables | 2

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Convention dictates this second set of Learning Tables, primarily the work of Miss G. Banton (with one notable exception that I’ll explain in a moment) follows the first set of Tables and since this is not a rule I’m overly-inclined to break it’s only seems right-and-proper this should be the case.

These Tables are broadly-designed to cover Knowledge (Assessment Objective 1) and Evaluation (Assessment Objective 3) and while the latter uses relatively simple “for” and “against” arguments, an added dimension is created using a “PEEL” design. This, in case you’re not familiar with the mnemonic has the further advantage of encouraging students to structure exam answers in a specific way.

Without further ado, therefore, the following Tables are available for your downloading pleasure:

Endogenous Pacemakers and Exogenous Zeitgebers AO1 and AO3
Ethical implications of research studies and theory AO1 AND AO3

Free Will vs Determinism AO1 and AO3

Gender Bias AO1 and AO3

Holism and reductionism AO1 and AO3
Humanistic psychology LT

Idiographic and nomothetic approaches AO1 and AO3

Localisation and Function of the brain AO1 and AO3

The final set of Tables, created by Melissa Yeadon, are slightly different in that they’re designed to take the student through the research process – from initial hypothesis to understanding ethical considerations – and involve some student input (mainly in the shape of having to answer questions at various points). In all there are 10 Tables in this set.

Learning Tables Planning Research 

Psychology Learning Tables | 1

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

As with their sociological counterparts, Psychology Learning Tables come in a variety of styles, have been constructed for a range of different reasons and the ones I’ve scoured the web to find relate to different Specifications and exams. Keep these provisos in mind, however, and you’ll find some of these Tables useful – either “as is” or as inspiration for creating Tables of your own.

Since I’ve managed to find quite a few Tables on different areas of the Specification I thought it would be easier and more-convenient to post the first couple of batches alphabetically.

The Tables have been put-together by different authors at different times and I’ve indicated any significant differences and departures from the basic “Learning Table” format.


PsychoPepper: Approaches in Psychology

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

I first came across this Blog via a PsychoPepper Twitter post drawing attention to the availability of this Approaches in Psychology booklet that’s hard to sum-up in a simple statement. It mixes a range of formats – textbook, revision book, workbook – into something rather wonderful and, dare I say, exceptionally useful for both students and teachers.

The closest thing I can compare the booklet to is the Psychology Teacher’s Toolkit although even here the comparison falls short; whereas the latter is a collection of lesson ideas loosely grouped around different themes the former is a coherently-structured 50-papge+ document focused on the notion of different psychological approaches. The blog’s well worth a visit just to get your hands on the booklet alone, but once you’re there take a bit of time to have a look around at the other free resources on offer.

Classroom Resources, for example, contains Lesson Plans for a number of areas (such as Research Methods, Aggression and Biopsychology) that, at the very least, will save you a lot of time and effort.

The Teaching Blog section, on the other hand, focuses on planning and pedagogy – schemes of work, teaching tips and so forth.

There’s also a handy “Glossary” of key terms and a “Marking and Feedback” section designed to help students understand what they are being asked in exam questions and how to provide the answers…

Restorative Justice: An Educational Dimension

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

You may – or as is probably more likely, may not – recall a post a while back that outlined some ideas on Braithwaite and Restorative Justice  as they relate to crime and criminal behaviour – a fact I mention only because I came across an interesting short video on how a school in Colorado (and no-doubt others in America) have introduced a form of restorative justice as an alternative to the more-traditional forms of punishment generally meted-out in such schools.


Society Now Magazine

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Society Now” is a free full-colour magazine published four times a year by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and features a range of articles that “showcase the impact of the social science research” funded by the Council.

Although the magazine includes material that’s not necessarily relevant to a-level sociology – the ERSC funds a wide range of social scientific research in areas like economics. politics and geography – it’s worth browsing for the articles that, directly and indirectly, do touch on issues and themes sociologists – both teachers and students – will find useful. The latest issue (No. 29: Autumn 2017) for example has useful short articles on, among other things:

• The geography of inequality and poverty in Britain.
• The Summer of Love? – looking at “key changes to personal choice and individual freedom”
• England’s child protection strategy.
• Family-friendly employment rights

The magazine’s been published since 2008 (so there are quite a few – 28 to be precise – Back Issues  available if you fancy sifting through them) and is available in a number of formats:

Pdf download (the current edition, for example)

App download (for both Apple and Android OS).

Print: You just need to complete the online application form.

Britain In Magazine


As an added bonus the ESRC also publish a free annual magazine containing a range of news and feature articles, handily divided into sections (such as education, family, culture, media and health) that sociologists should find useful.

Past issues going back to 2007 are available as pdf downloads and the current issue is available in print format, although you have to contact them (email or phone) to order a copy.

Crime and Deviance: Non-Sociological vs Labelling Approaches

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

I came across this “Approaches to Crime and Deviance” PowerPoint the other day while searching through an old hard drive (the metadata says I created it in 2003 and although that sounds about right in terms of the look-and-feel of the Presentation it may actually have been created a little later, not that this makes much difference to anything) and thought it might be interesting to show it the light of day in case anyone finds it useful.

In this respect it’s basically a 3-screen presentation that looks at:

1. Non-sociological approaches using a “6 things you might need to know” format.

2. Labelling approaches using a similar format.

3. Understanding crime and deviance as relative concepts by asking students to find examples of the same behaviour considered as deviant / non-deviant at different times (historical dimension) and places (cross-cultural dimension).

I’m guessing it was originally intended to be an Introductory presentation of some description, possibly for the old OCR Specification that required students to look at both sociological and non-sociological approaches.

If you don’t need to consider non-sociological approaches you can still use the presentation as both an Introduction to Labelling and as a starter activity designed to get students thinking about crime and deviance as relative concepts through the use of simple comparative examples.

SociologySaviour Blog

Monday, December 25th, 2017

I was looking for pictures of Arron Cicoural for a new film we’re editing on Labelling Theory when I stumbled across the rather interesting SociologySaviour Blog,  that unfortunately now looks as though it hasn’t been updated since mid-2016. This is something of a shame because the material it contains seems well-written and useful – although this isn’t something the navigation system could be accused of being. It’s all a bit minimalist and confusing until you scroll to the bottom of the page where you’ll find links to four categories:

Crime and Deviance: extensive notes on wide range of topics
Beliefs in Society: notes on a smaller range of topics
Sociological Theory: brief notes on a small range of perspectives
Research Methods: doesn’t seem to have ever been developed.

Basically, the site has a lot of notes on Crime, a lesser range on Beliefs and Theory and a short indication of notes that would have appeared under Research Methods but which, for whatever reason, never seem to have been added.

Be that as it may – and we can only guess the reasons for the project’s apparent abandonment – the notes included are really quite good: short, to-the-point and, as far as I’ve read, accurate.

Learning Tables: Education

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

The latest batch of Tables (again created by Miss K Elles and a couple of others) covers some of the main themes in the sociology of education.

The focus is mainly on analysis and evaluation and this set of Tables is particularly text-heavy for some reasons. There’s nary a picture in sight and some Tables run to two or three pages of text.

If you can live with that, the following Tables are available:

Role of Education
Class Differences in Educational Achievement
Gender Differences in Educational Achievement and Subject Choice
Ethnic Differences in Educational Achievement
Selection, Marketisation and Privatisation Policies
Policies for Equal Opportunities (Miss G Banton)
Researching Education (Issac Carter-Bown)

Learning Tables: Beliefs in Society | 2

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

For this second batch of “Beliefs” Learning Tables the focus is, once again, on religion (although a couple of the Tables cover areas like Science and Ideology if that’s your main area of interest).

The Tables were created by a variety of authors and although the basic principle is the same – present information concisely to cover areas like advantages / disadvantages or analysis and evaluation – the execution is somewhat different and, not to put too fine a point on things, variable.

While the design of some of these Tables is a thing of beauty, others can fairly be described as basic (if we were being kind to “basic”, probably because its nearly Xmas and that’s the sort of generosity one extends this time of year. Apparently).

The other variable dimension – and I’ll leave you to decide about the quality of the specific content – is the amount of information that’s included with each Table: while some authors try to stick rigidly to the “everything condensed onto one page” format, others take a more relaxed view, with content laid-out across 2 or 3 pages. Personally, this doesn’t bother me too much as long as the overall Table design is strong, although if it does bother you I’ve left the files in their original Word format for ease of editing.

This may also be useful if you want to edit the files to remove outdated or irrelevant information (the Tables were probably designed for the AQA Spec. and are a few years old in some instances). You may, therefore, want to remove stuff that’s no-longer useful (or even add bits that are newly-relevant). The same is pertinent if you follow a different Specification – there may be areas you want to edit out or edit in.

Another thing you’ll notice with this batch is that some of the Tables duplicate the previous set of Tables, at least in terms of title, if not necessarily design and content.

On the downside this means having to trawl through two sets of Tables to decide which you – and your students – prefer.

On the upside you’re getting two sets of Tables for the price of none, so a little bit of compare-and-contrast is probably not too high a price to not pay. Or something.

Anyway, I’ve grouped the following Tables by creator rather than topic. Feel free to download them here. Or not, as the case may be:

New Religious Movements (Georgia Banton)
Religion and Social Change (Georgia Banton)
Religion and Social Groups (Georgia Banton)
Types of Religious Organisation (Georgia Banton)

Functionalism 1 (KevII)
Functionalism 2 (KevII)
Marxism / Feminism (KevII)
Marxism (KevII)
Science and Ideology (KevII)
Religion and Science as Belief Systems (KevII)

Types of Religious Organisation (MYeadon)

Feminism (S Zaheer)
Religion in a Global context: Fundamentalism and Globalisation (S Zaheer)

Learning Tables: Beliefs in Society | 1

Monday, December 18th, 2017

For some reason I’ve managed to find rather a lot (20+) of Learning Tables, put together by 5 different authors, on the topic of Beliefs in Society – something that includes both religious beliefs and a range of other types (from politics through to science), although most of the Tables featured here relate to religious beliefs in various ways.

To make things a bit more manageable my end, therefore, I’ve split this post into two: part one presents Tables by what I assume to be a single author (sdale) while the second part (which I’m thinking of calling “part 2” but I’ll need to discuss this further with my agent before making a final decision) contains Tables by a mix of authors.

In this respect the first batch of Tables covers three broad areas:

1. Perspectives on religion (postmodern, neo-marxist etc.)
2. Aspects of religion (such as the relationship to social change)
3. Ideology and belief systems (such as science).

You’ll also find that a couple of the Tables (postmodernism and secularisation) are in two parts with the latter being very similar, for reasons that escape me, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out…

Religion: Key Concepts
Postmodernism 1
Postmodernism 2
Neo-Marxism / Weberian
Social Change
New Religious Movements
Secularisation 1
Secularisation 2
Religion and Social Groups
Science and Ideology

More Learning Tables: AS Research Methods

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

Today’s Table offering is everyone’s favourite revision topic (research methods in case you actually need to ask) and all of the Tables were written / assembled by Miss K Elles, except for those that weren’t.

The Tables cover the major research methods plus a little bit of research methodology (positivism and interpretivism plus stuff on choice of method, value-freedom, objectivity and subjectivity) and mainly focus on knowledge with little bits of application and evaluation thrown-in.

If I had guess – which I do because I don’t know for sure – I’d say these were early-version Tables where the more-complex structure of later Tables hadn’t been established.

Alternatively they may just have been knocked-out quickly to fulfil some necessary teaching and learning void.

Either way, you and your students may find the following Tables useful:

Secondary Sources
Positivism and Interpretivism 1 (Georgia Banton)
Positivism and Interpretivism 2 (Georgia Banton)
Factors influencing choice of method (Isaac Carter-Bown)
Value-Freedom (S Dale)

Families and Households Learning Tables

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

In this set of Learning Tables (mainly created by Miss K Elles) the focus is on analysis and evaluation with a section on application left blank. Students can either add their own examples or the Tables can be used within the classroom to discuss possible applications.

While the Tables are not as comprehensive as their crime and deviance counterparts, this may simply reflect the fact they’re aimed at AS rather than A2 students (then again, it may just reflect an evolution of the basic technique).

Either way, you can download the following Tables:

Role: Marxism
Role: Feminism
Role: Functionalism and the New Right
Role: Postmodern
Social Policy
Social Policy (alternative version)
Marriage and Divorce
Family Diversity (Issac Carter-Brown)
Gender Roles: Couples
Childhood (Anon)
Births, Deaths and The Ageing Population