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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).

The Memory Clock

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Although revision, in all its different guises and forms, is an integral part of any sociology course its 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 you’re own choice of question.

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.

Media

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

Methods

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
Interviews
Observation and Secondary Sources

Previous Tables you might find useful:

Table 1.

Table 2.

Table 3.

Education

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.

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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.

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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”.

Techniques

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 

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…).

Psychology

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.

Sociology

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.

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

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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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]

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

Conformity – Asch’s Research
Conformity – Types and Explanations
Cognitive

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.

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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.

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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)