Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

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:


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

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.

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…

Conducting Psychological Research

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

This is a free chapter, from an unpublished textbook by Shelia Kennison of Oklahoma State University, that you can either read online or download as a pdf document.

The chapter covers a range of ideas and issues focused on the research process:

• different research methodologies
• causality
• experimentation
• representative sampling
• reliability and validity
• Type I and Type II errors
• ethics

The text also includes a couple of pages of “key terms” plus a set of questions based on the text designed to assess student understanding.

While it’s not exactly ground-breaking in terms of content and design it seems solid enough for A-level / AP Psychology.

A-Level Psychology Revision Films

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

With the exam season nearly upon us, the thoughts of students and teachers inexorably turn once more to the annual ritual known as revision.

And if you want to try something a bit different – whether you’re a teacher looking to introduce a range of revision topics or a student looking for something visual to break-up the textbook slog – we have a range of on-demand revision films at a very reasonable price to help.

Our On-demand service gives you access to our short, sharp and tightly-focused films specifically designed for A-level Psychology – each with the emphasis on key exam knowledge, interpretation and evaluation.

Our rental service gives you the opportunity to watch:

  • When you want – any number of times over a 48-hour period for a single payment.
  • Where you want – on your mobile, tablet or desktop.


To get you started, here’s 4 films you can watch for free:


If you want to see more, free previews are available for each of the following: 


Free Chapter: The Psychology of Addictive Behaviour

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

The third – and probably final – free chapter from Holt and Lewis’ “A2 Psychology: The Student’s Textbook”, this one covers addictive behaviour in terms of main areas:

1. Models

Biological, cognitive and learning models of addiction, including explanations for initiation, maintenance and relapse

Explanations for specific addictions, including smoking and gambling

2. Factors affecting addictive behaviour

Vulnerability to addiction including self-esteem, attributions for addiction and social context of addiction

The role of media in addictive behavior 

3. Reducing addictive behaviour

Models of prevention, including theory of reasoned action and theory of planned behaviour

Types of intervention, including biological, psychological, public health interventions and legislation, and their effectiveness.


A2 Psychology: Free Chapter on Relationships

Friday, January 6th, 2017

A couple of months ago I posted a free chapter on Research Methods  from Holt and Lewis’ “A2 Psychology: The Student’s Textbook” and this latest offering is on Relationships and covers three main areas:

  1. The formation, maintenance and breakdown of romantic relationships

Theories of the formation, maintenance and breakdown of romantic relationships: e.g. reinforcement-affect theory, social exchange theory, sociobiological theory

  1. Human reproductive behavior

The relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour
Evolutionary explanations of parental investment: e.g. sex differences, parent-offspring conflict.

  1. Effects of early experience and culture on adult relationships

The influence of childhood and adolescent experiences on adult relationships, including parent-child relationships and interaction with peers.
The nature of relationships in different cultures.


Behind the Statistics

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

The third in a trilogy of related psychology research methods films (the first and second look at Experimental and Non-Experimental Research Methods respectively) examines how statistical data are collected, compared and explained through an examination of three key issues in this process:

1. Sampling introduces and illustrates a range of important concepts (target population, sample, representativeness, generalisability), explores different types of probability and non-probability sampling (simple random, stratified, opportunity…) and evaluates their respective strengths and weaknesses in the context of developing statistical data.

2. Correlations outlines and explains the concepts of positive and negative correlations, introduces the idea of correlation co-efficient and explores the strengths and limitations of correlations in the context of statistical data.

3. Experimental Design begins by looking at the idea of causation in the context of experimental methods and research design. The strengths and limitations of three types of design (Repeated Measures, Independent Measures and Matched Pairs) are illustrated using a range of contemporary and classic studies.

Available On-Demand: 48-hour rental or to Buy

A2 Psychology: Research Methods Free Chapter

Friday, November 4th, 2016

holt-and-lewisOne of the simple pleasures of Wandering the Web™ for a living, made all the more enjoyable by that intangible sense of the unexpected (I know, I live my life through contradictions), is coming across Stuff That Is Free.

My not-so-little face lights up at the mere thought of finding Something For Nothing, even though that “Something” invariably ends up stored somewhere on a half-forgotten hard drive, waiting for that magic moment when “it might be useful to someone, sometime”.

This behaviour, which I’m calling “Simple Squirrelling Syndrome” – because I can – has a yet deeper dimension (I’m toying with the idea of “Simple Squirrelling Syndrome Squared”, but it may need some work). Some years after the initial find-and-save I get to spend further pleasurable hours sifting through multiple hard drives “looking for that study I know I saved somewhere, under a name that made perfect sense at the time but which is now largely meaningless”, during which I rediscover all kinds of things I’d forgotten I had. My pleasure is quite obviously redoubled. Probably. I’m not altogether certain I’ve quite mastered mathematical analogies.

Anyway, be that as it may, the actual point of this rambling preambling is that I came across this sample chapter on Research Methods from Holt and Lewis’ “A2 Psychology: The Student’s Textbook” and thought of you.

On the downside it looks like a chapter from the 2009 edition, but on the upside you have to ask yourself when was the last time a textbook said anything startlingly-new about the Hypothetico-Deductive Model? Or “the Research Process”? Sampling? Probability and significance? My case rests.

The chapter also has a very pretty, colourful, layout, which in my book counts for quite a lot.

Seven Sims in Seven Days – Day 5: Trial by Jury

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

sim_trailAs 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.

Psychology ShortCuts: Offender Profiling

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

As with its sociological sister, ShortCuts to Psychology is a new series of free films designed to clearly and concisely illustrate key ideas and concepts across a range of topics – from family, through deviance to psychological theory and methods. The films are:

  • short: between 30 seconds and a couple of minutes
  • focused on definitions, explanations and analysis
  • framed around expert sociologists in their field.


In this film Professor David Wilson offers up a definition of offender profiling.


Beyond Genetics

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

“Nature or Nurture?” is a long-running debate in psychology, one heavily-influenced by developments in genetics and a rise in the popular belief that “dna is destiny”: the idea human behaviour is broadly is determined by a “good” or a “bad” roll of the genetic dice.

This 3-part film, featuring contributions from Dr Nessa Carey and Dr Guy Sutton, goes “Beyond Genetics” to explore recent developments in the field of Epigenetics that show the way genes actually work is shaped by environmental influences – a development that introduces a new and exciting dimension to the debate, for both psychologists and sociologists.


Beyond Genetics 3: DNA Methylation

Monday, July 11th, 2016

This short animation, taken from the second part of the forthcoming “Beyond Genetics” film, “Turn Me On / Turn Me Off” provides a simple visual representation of DNA Methylation.

Beyond Genetics 2: Epigenetic Tagging

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

This simple animation, taken from the second part of the forthcoming “Beyond Genetics” film, “Turn Me On / Turn Me Off” provides a simple visual representation of epigenetic tagging.

Beyond Genetics 1: DNA and Proteins

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Our latest (August 2016) 3-part film “Beyond Genetics” shows how developments in the field of epigenetics are shedding new light on the “nature – nurture” debate and this simple animation, taken from the first part of the film “All in the Genes?” illustrates the relationship between DNA, proteins and genetic transmission.

A-Level and AP Psychology DVDs

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Our new “Revising Psychology” series of short films are now available on DVD.

There are currently 5 DVDs in production and each has 4 short (typically 5 – 8 minutes), self-contained, psychology videos designed to introduce students to key theories, concepts and methods in contemporary contexts.

Each DVD is competitively-priced at just £17.50, including post and packaging.

You can also buy all 5 DVDs at the Special Price of £75.00, including post and packaging.

Series Titles and films

Issues in Psychology [26 minutes: Ethics / Socially Sensitive Research / Usefulness of Research /Ethnocentrism]

Debates in Psychology [25 minutes: Nature-Nurture / Psychology and Science / Situational Psychology / Free Will and Determinism]

Non-Experimental Research Methods [21 minutes: Naturalistic Observation / Cases Studies / Self-Report Methods / Correlations]

Experimental Research Methods [23 minutes: Laboratory / Field / Natural Experiments / Experimental Design]

Core Concepts in Research [24 minutes: Reliability and Validity / Sampling / Reductionism / Variables]

All DVDs are available to order online.


NGfL Cymru (The Finding of The Hub)

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

While previous posts about the very wonderful Welsh National Grid for Learning have pointed you to different parts of the site, these links now point to the “Hub Home” pages for:

  1. Sociology
  2. Psychology

There’s a lot of A-level resources here to explore – from textbooks through PowerPoints to online materials – and, best of all, they’re absolutely free.

Is Psychology a Science?

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Part of the launch of our new “Revising Psychology” series of films, aimed at a-level and ap psychology teachers and students, on Research Methods and Issues / Debates involves giving teachers and students free access to some of the series.

If you missed the first free revision film (Correlations), you can view it online here.

Our second free revision film looks at the question “Is Psychology a Science?” by taking students through the key characteristics of science and the scientific method, using examples drawn from classic and contemporary studies.

The film covers key:

  • knowledge: defining science, objectivity, the scientific method
  • applications: Popper, Maguire, Zimbardo, Haslam and Reicher
  • explanations: identifying and applying the key characteristics of science

 You can view these, other free films and previews of all our sociology and psychology films on our on-demand site.

The Nature – Nurture Debate

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

EleanorMaguireWoollett and Maguire’s “Acquiring ‘the Knowledge’ of London’s Layout Drives Structural Brain Changes” is a useful addition to the debate for students because it suggests brain structure is not fixed and static; on the contrary, under certain conditions (such as “The Knowledge” required to qualify as a London taxi-driver) it can be changed by “biologically relevant behaviors engaging higher cognitive functions”. And if this all sounds fascinating you can explore it further by downloading:

Summary, results and discussion

Illustrations used in the document