Archive for April, 2017
To rectify the omission, therefore, this document uses Sudhir Venkatesh’s “Gang Leader For a Day” study as the basis for an outline and evaluation – the advantages and disadvantages – of the following key methodological concepts in overt participant observation:
Depth and Detail.
Continuing the Research Methods theme of recent posts, these NotAFactsheets focus on a range of methods associated with Interpretivist research:
M4a. Research Methods: this outlines different types of interview: semi-structured, unstructured and focus groups.
M4b. Research Methods: observational methods are one of the staples of Interpretivist research and this outlines non-participant observation, covert and overt participant observation.
M4c. Research Methods: while experimental methods are not conventionally associated with Interpretivism there have been a number of very interesting and influential field and natural experiments carried-out over the years. This NotAFactsheet outlines these and also provides an outline of documentary sources (with a bit of content analysis thrown-in for good measure).
If you’ve seen the previous post on Connecting Revision you may have tried the Family Connecting Wall created by Steve Bishop (and maybe even been inspired to think about creating and sharing your own?).
He’s now created a new Wall to add to your revising pleasure and this time it’s on Crime and Deviance.
As ever the format’s a simple one: find 4 groups of 4 related ideas within the 3 minute time limit and then explain what connects each group.
2. An experimental version with an added bit of embedded video (click-the-pic-to-play).
Although not ideal, the video is in Flash (.flv) format for reasons that are much too boring to go into. Plus, the .flv format can be quite heavily compressed and means the video doesn’t add too many megabytes to the pdf file. I’ve deliberately kept the clip short – it just illustrates a simple mnemonic that I cut out of one of our films on Ethics – because it’s essentially just a test to see which people prefer.
If you choose this option you’ll need to download the pdf file because atm it won’t play online (probably).
Browsing through my Twitter feed the other day I was struck by a tweet from Oriel Sociology about a “Connecting Wall” grid featured in the British Sociological Association’s Sociology Teacher magazine.
If you’re familiar with the BBC Quiz show “Only Connect” you’ll know that one of the most popular elements is the “Connecting Wall” where a team of 3 players is presented with a “wall” containing 16 elements that can be grouped into 4 different categories. Once all 4 categories have been correctly identified the team scores extra points by correctly identifying the how each group is connected.
This seemed to me like a really good way of spicing-up revision classes – students seem to like competitive games and the “making connections” angle is particularly suited to some simple “knowledge-based” revision activities.
While the BSA material is fine, the paper-based format is somewhat limiting because it’s difficult for students to know if they’ve correctly identified the four elements of each category (part of the fun of the TV-based connecting wall is that some elements can be red-herrings – they could belong to more than one category). A quick web-search, however, revealed a couple of on-line creators that could be used to make interactive walls quickly and easily.
One such creator (“Connect Fours”) can be found on Russel Tarr’s site. This has a simple “Create Your Own” function with instructions about how to construct a game wall. To understand how it all works have a look at a Wall created by Steve Bishop on The Family.
Alternatively, the Puzzle Grid site features a Wall creator that takes you through all the simple steps you need to create your own Sociology Revision Wall online.
Over the past few weeks I’ve published a small selection of Curriculum Press Sociology Factsheets and the response to these set me thinking about creating some of my own, using a similar format – although I’ve decided not to call what I’ve produced “Factsheets”, mainly because they aren’t.
Anyway, I posted my first attempt at a NotAFactsheet a week or so ago and since then I’ve been developing and refining the format in terms of both design and content. Whether or not I’ve managed to capture something useful is something for you to judge but I thought I’d post my first batch of NotAFactsheets anyway.
The basic idea, in case you’re not familiar with the general format, is to use NotAFactsheets in a range of possible ways, as:
These are all based around “Approaches to Research” and, in the main, focus on an outline of different approaches. I have, however, included one on research methods to see if and how that works (at 5 pages it’s significantly longer than each of the others and I’m not sure if this format works as a NotAFactsheet).
You can download the following NotAFactsheets:
In a previous post I shared some examples of Curriculum Press Factsheets I’d found on my travels and this post offers a few more examples that might inspire you (and your students) to think about making your own…
I’ve posted a couple of times about the Sociology Factsheets produced by Curriculum Press – particularly about how it might be an idea for teachers to get their students to make their own versions as both a revision aid and teaching resource for future sociology students – and I thought it might be interesting to have a go at something along these lines myself: particularly because having written a number of books for different exam boards over the past 10 or so years I’ve accumulated a large stock of words that could possibly be put to some more – and probably better – use as a revision-type resource.
The upshot of playing-around with various words and pictures is my first ShortCuts Sheet on “Approaches to Research: Positivism” (for no better reason than the fact I had some underutilised text lying around that I thought might be easy to adapt to this format).
If you’ve got any comments, suggestions etc. about why it’s brilliant / shite / could be improved please don’t hesitate to let me know…