Posts Tagged ‘positivism’
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:
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…
This is a simple one-slide PowerPoint presentation of Popper’s classic model of scientific research. The presentation contains two versions:
- Click-to-advance: this allows teachers to reveal each element in the model at their own pace. This is useful if you want to talk about each of the elements before revealing the next.
- Self-advancing: if you want to just show a class how the model develops this option slowly (there’s a two-second delay before each reveal) displays each element in turn.
If you want to give your students some notes to accompany the presentation the following should help:
This sim involves a bit of very gentle trickery on your part as you use your little-known ability to mind-read as a way of enlivening some of the “possibly less interesting?” aspects of research methods.
As with some of the other sims in the series this is a building-block resource; while it’s not very useful, in itself, for teaching, it’s possible to integrate it into curriculum content in a number of innovative and, I hope, interesting ways.
The specific instructions for this version of the sim relate to research methods generally and research design specifically. The background reading that’s included, at no extra cost, relates to Popper’s Hypothetico-Deductive Model of science and you can build the sim around a range of general and / or specific research method issues (replication, variables, hypothesis construction and testing etc.) depending on your own particular needs and preferences. For more advanced levels the sim can be used to illustrate the difference between Positivist and Realist approaches to understanding social phenomena and action. (more…)
As with some of the others in this series, “Trial by Jury” is a building block sim that gives you a basic template that can be used to organise and run a wide range of possible simulations. In basic terms if there’s an area of the Sociology / Psychology course that involves comparing and contrasting two opposing viewpoints it can be adapted to the Trial by Jury format using this template.
As a way of exampling this the package uses the (sociological) example of “Positivism On Trial” (effectively a debate between Positivism / Interpretivism at As-level).
This is quite a time-consuming simulation and it’s probably best-suited to occasional use (unless you’ve completely flipped your classroom, in which case it’s something you could frequently use).
For example, it could be used at the end of a specific teaching session (such as “secularisation”) as a way of bringing all the different arguments and evaluations together. Alternatively you might find it useful for a series of “end of course” sessions as a way of structuring student revision.
With the growth of video, podcasts seem to have fallen out of fashion in recent years which is a bit of a shame because they can be useful teaching / learning aids. From a production point-of-view they’re also cheap to create and easy to distribute so it’s perhaps surprising that more aren’t made.
Be that as it may, one accusation that can’t be levelled at AQA is jumping on a bandwagon before the train has left the station; so, a little late admittedly, comes these podtastic offerings for your listening pleasure. Atm there are only 4 casts (3 if you discount the “Overview”) and whether there will be any more is anyone’s guess (and mine, for what little it’s worth, is that there won’t be, but I’m prepared to be surprised).
- Talk the Walk
At this point students need to get to grips with learning the basics of research methods. How you organise this is up to you, but one way is to get students to take ownership of their learning:
• Brief overview of the method
• Primary / secondary data
• Quantitative / qualitative source / data
Although the concept of a “postmodern criminology” is, for various reasons, highly problematic this doesn’t mean that newer approaches to understanding and explaining crime don’t have something to offer the a-level sociologist. In this two-part extravaganza, therefore, we can look at two (yes, really) dimensions to this criminological shift through the medium of a couple of lovingly-prepared workbooks.
The first workbook – a critique of conventional criminology – helps students understand some of the points-of-conflict between conventional (positivist) and postmodern criminologies, with the focus on areas like:
• The ontological reality of crime
• The myth of crime
• Criminalisation, punishment and pain
• Crime control
The workbook identifies and explains these ideas and also includes space for students to test their knowledge and understanding through relatively simple critical tasks.