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Posts Tagged ‘revision’

Maths in Psychology

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Three more documents, authored by Dr. Julia Russell and salvaged by yours-truly from the Uniview archive, these focus on the Maths in Psychology component recently introduced into the a-level the Psychology Specification.

The basic format for each document is a brief outline of a specific study followed by exam-style questions and answers to these questions. The final component is a suggested extension activity.

  1. The Apple Logo: Blake et.al (2015)
  2. Dreaming of failing works!: Arnulf et.al. (2014)
  3. Learning Not to be Prejudiced: Lebrecht et.al. (2009)


If you prefer your pictures moving, we’ve produced a range of introductory films, written and narrated by Deb Gajic, that take students step-by-step through a number of different statistical tests:

Sign Test 

Spearman’s Rho 

Mann-Whitney

Chi Square

Wilcoxen

Probability

The films are also available as a:

Big Value 6 film bundle for 48-hour rental:

DVD 

Using Analogies in Sociology

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Although analogies don’t seem to be widely used in sociology teaching – with the exception of the organismic analogy conventionally used to introduce Functionalism and the “Warm Bath” analogy used in relation to Functionalist views on Family Life – I’ve always felt that, used carefully and with suitable warnings not to stretch them too far, they can help students grasp the salient points underlying some complex ideas.

For example, analogies can be used to help students grasp how different perspectives “see society” (“Society is Like” pdf / “Sociological Theory” PowerPoint) as well as gain a greater insight into how concepts like Cultural Capital can be demonstrated.

This third example of Jill Swale’s work in relation to applying critical thinking skills to a-level sociology involves a slight change from the previous examples in that it ranges across the whole course and focuses on the use of analogies in sociology in a way designed to:

  • develop the use of analogies to aid student understanding and application.
  • evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different analogies.

  • The Analogies in Sociology document has full instructions about how to use it in the classroom although, as always, there’s plenty of space left to adapt the exercise to your own particular classroom needs.

    Why is Gaz in Court for Mugging?

    Monday, May 15th, 2017

    A second example of Jill Swale’s work, lovingly-culled from the ATSS archive, is based around the requirement for students to “solve a mystery by selecting and ordering relevant material through group discussion”.

    In terms of game mechanics, this is a relatively simple sift-sort-match exercise: students work in small groups to link case study material to different sociological approaches to understanding and explaining crime and deviance.

    Once completed the relationships between the evidence and theory can be opened-up for class discussion and there is further scope to set extension work, such as an essay, on the basis of the work done in the classroom. 

    The exercise is designed to encourage students to interpret data and apply theories to a specific instance and while the supplied materials cover a variety of situations and theories, you can easily add or subtract material of your own – such as different forms of evidence and newer theories – by using a word processor to create new cards. This facility means you can tailor the level of work to the requirements of both the whole class and specific students within the class if necessary (by using a group-work format teachers can, if necessary, spend more of their time with students who need a bit more focused help).

    If you find this type of exercise works well for you and your students you should be able to use it as a template to create and explore other scenarios across different Units / Modules – basically any area of the course that requires students to link evidence to theories.

    Testing Times

    Friday, May 12th, 2017

    Testing Times is a relatively-simple board game, adapted from an original idea by Sally Stewart, designed to help students revise.

    The game is played in small classroom groups in the presence of a teacher because teachers will need to adjudicate student answers in order to sort the right from the wrong. Probably. 

    Although the original game (“Cops and Robbers”) was based around Crime and Deviance (the clue’s in the name) there’s no reason why it can’t be adapted to other areas of your Specification.

    The game is simple to play and set-up. All you need is a couple of dice and a squared board – either one copied from the Testing Times document or one you create yourself (in something like Word). If you were running this as a whole-class game you could simply draw the squared game grid on a whiteboard.

    To prepare a game board you’ll need to decide on a set of categories (in sociology, for example, this might be something like different perspectives) and 5 or 6 broad questions relating to the categories. If this is unclear have a look at the example boards included in the document.

    Creative Connections: Honeycomb Hexagons

    Sunday, May 7th, 2017

    The basic idea underpinning this simple activity is to encourage students to build-up a set of Key Revision Concepts with a visual dimension that should help them understand how and why these concepts can be connected.

    This is not only useful for revision – both the more-general “end of course” type and the more-specific “end of module” type – it can also help students construct coherent exam answers by illustrating the connections between related concepts: the focus on remembering Key Terms and how they’re connected lends itself to the development of a strong structure upon which a good exam answer can be quickly and easily created.

    The Creative Connections file includes a worked-example of a Culture and Identity grid plus some blank grids students that can be used for any part of the course you want.

    The file also contains some short (and I like to think pithy) instructions for both single-player and team-based versions. You can use the latter if you want to set-up some competitive classroom revision exercises. While the How To Play instructions should give you a good idea about how to use the grid, you might like to note some further ideas:

    It’s useful to make the terms you add to the Board as general / wide-ranging as possible. 

    Try not to be too specific with the terms you add because you will find it difficult to connect further ideas if the concepts you use aren’t general enough. The key thing to remember here is that students should be trying to create a broad overview of some part of their course. More-specific ideas, such as sociological studies, can be explained as part of the connecting process if students have to justify the connection they’ve made, either to themselves in single-player mode or their opponents in team-play mode.

    If necessary, you can connect two or more Boards but it’s probably best if you can keep them separate and self-contained. There are 36 hexagons on each Board and this should give students more than enough information / connections for any exam topic, if you choose the initial Key Term carefully.

    Aside from this the rules are fairly loose and you can add / subject rules as you see fit. If you find the Board helpful and have created new rules to add to the basic format please feel free to let me know in the Comment section. 

    You can also download a further Creative Connections file that just contains How To Play instructions, a selection of hexagonal grids and no example grid.

    Psychology: Hard-to-Find Classics

    Sunday, May 7th, 2017

    For a number of years Dr Julia Russell wrote a Psychology Column for a film distribution company called Uniview and when this company decided to call it a day all the resources she’d created disappeared from the web with nary a sound to indicate they’d ever been there.

    However, with a display of foresight that, quite frankly, surprised me, I decided to save as many of the resources as I could because I think their scope and quality deserves a wider audience.

    I decided to group the resources into a range of categories (studies, revision, science etc.), with the first batch being a series of commentaries on a number of “Hard-to-Find” classic studies.

    Each file is professionally-produced and covers 5 areas of the selected study in some detail:

    Aims, Procedure, Findings, Conclusion and Comments.

    The file concludes with questions, activities and resources related to the study.

    Held and Hein (1963) Movement-produced stimulation in the development of visually guided behavior

    Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburg (1988) Cross cultural patterns of attachment. A meta-analysis of the Strange Situation

    Jones MC (1924) A Laboratory of Fear

    Palmer SE (1975) The effects of contextual scenes on the identification of objects.

    NotAFactsheet: Miscellaneous Methods

    Friday, May 5th, 2017

    Another small batch of NotAFactsheets covering a miscellaneous melange of methods-related stuff – some essential, some less so (but probably nice to know, just in case you want to impress the examiner with your wide-ranging and perceptive grasp of all things methodological. Or maybe not).

    M9. Quantitative and Qualitative Data

    M10. Strong and Weak Feminist thesis

    M11. Types of Triangulation

    M13. Objectivity, Subjectivity, Value-Freedom

    GCSE SociologyStuff: Roll-it To Recap

    Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

    If, like me, you’re a fan of games and simulations you might find this simple Sociology game from Steve Bishop worth a look.

    While some games, such as the Sociology and Psychology Connecting Walls are best played on-line, this is more a pen-and-sticky-notes effort – a simple classroom activity that’s guaranteed to provide hours of fun, frivolity and furious arguments. Possibly.

    While the rules are rudimentary (“Roll the dice!”. “Answer the question!”) the upside to this is that you can adapt it to your own specific classroom requirements and objectives.

    This particular example is aimed at GCSE Sociology but it’s the kind of thing that could be easily adapted to A-level Sociology (or indeed GCSE / A-level Psychology) presupposing you’ve got the time and energy to create different game boards for different areas of the Spec.

     

    NotAFactsheet: Sampling

    Thursday, April 27th, 2017

    If there was a competition for the least-loved part of the Sociology Specification it’s a fair bet that sampling would be somewhere off in the far distance, casually looking over its shoulder and taunting its competitors as it limped home in first place.

    Loathe it or loathe it, however, you just can’t ignore sampling when it comes to revision – although, of course, that’s not quite true (quick translation: false). You can quite happily, if a little wantonly, ignore it in the probably-misplaced belief that the examiner doesn’t despise you enough to include a question on sampling in the exam. For what it’s worth*, it’s a distinct possibility they do, but don’t be upset by this. It’s nothing personal. Just part of the job description I think. 

    So, on the off-chance this little preamble has convinced you it might be a Good Idea to give sampling at least a quick glance, I’ve hand-crafted three NotAFactsheets that are guaranteed to have you singing into the exam**: 

    (more…)

    GCSE Psychology Connecting Walls

    Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

    If you’re looking for something a little different to encourage your GCSE students to revise, his collection of Psychology Connecting Walls might be just the ticket.  

    The basic mechanics of the quiz are very simple: each wall has 16 elements that can be grouped into 4 different categories. Once all 4 categories have been correctly identified students then need to say what connects each category. If you’re not familiar with the TV Show (Only Connect) on which the quizzes are based you can watch a short introductory video that demonstrates the game mechanics.

    There are 19 Connecting Walls in this collection, although because they are randomised some categories will be repeated across different walls. 

    There’s no indication as to who created these Walls but if you know, let me know and I can credit them accordingly…

     

    Connecting Walls Collection

    Monday, April 24th, 2017

    Oriel Sociology has been busy creating and posting a huge number of revision Connecting Walls on Twitter and, in the spirit of “pinching other people’s stuff and sharing it with a wider audience”, I’ve pulled all their tweets together into one handy blog post for your – and your students’ – greater convenience.

    So, if you’re looking for a fun way to spice-up classroom revision with a bit of competitive tension, try some or all of the following:

    Education

    Education Wall 1

    Education Wall 2

    Education Wall 3

    Education Wall 4  

    Education Wall 5

    (more…)

    Connecting Revision Too

    Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

    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.

    NotAFactsheet: Research Ethics

    Thursday, April 13th, 2017

    This NotAFactsheet on Research Ethics is a slight departure from previous NotAFactsheets in that it comes in two flavours:

    1. The normal “text with box-outs and pictures-if-you’re-lucky” version.

    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).

     

    Connecting Revision

    Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

    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.

     

    Sociology Shortcuts: NotAFactsheets

    Sunday, April 9th, 2017

    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:

  • basic introductory documents.
  • an extra source of student Notes.
  • a source of information when students miss part of a course.
  • a revision document.
  •  
    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:

    Positivism

    Positivist Research Methods

    Interpretivism

    Realism

    Feminism

    A Few More Psychology Factsheets

    Thursday, April 6th, 2017

    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…

     

    Attachment

    Autism

    Classical Conditioning

    Eyewitness Testimony

    Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony

    Sociology ShortCuts F’sheet

    Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

    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…

    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: 

     

    Updating Crime & Deviance

    Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

    Day Workshop with renowned sociologist and film-maker, Dr Steve Taylor

    Strain, Labelling, Realism etc. are still important because they underpin a lot of research in the contemporary study of Crime and Deviance. But supposing your students could demonstrate this with new concepts & 21st. Century research examples?

    This Workshop consolidates the key theories and concepts and then illustrates their application with clear, easy to understand up to date research.  For example, students read about moral panics, but how much more impressive could an answer be if they were able to bring in the recent concept of ‘amoral panics’?

    Content: 

    • Crime, Deviance, Order and Control: clarifying sociological approaches.
    • Globalisation & Crime: filling the gaps by linking to familiar sociological approaches
    • Researching Crime: methods clarified, evaluated & illustrated with new ideas & interactive Q & A practice.
    • Theory & Method: this challenging topic laid bare, simplified and illustrated.

    Free Crime and Deviance films provided!

    Additional Sessions on Family, Youth Culture & Research Methods, if required.

    What Teachers say 

    “Delivered with a real affection for the subject with pace and professionalism   Partly as a consequence of working with Steve we had an excellent set of results”: Stephen Base Verulam College

    “Excellent day. He brings in contemporary evidence and great links to exam skills”: Ann-Marie Taylor Coleg Cambria

    “Brilliant exam focused training”: Mandy Gordon, Highfield School

    “Our students loved it, Steve got them to think outside the box”: Pauline Kendal, Bedford Sixth Form

    What Students Say

    ‘He was even better than in the videos. Loved it.’

    ‘Makes the theories come alive by linking them to the studies’.

    ‘Liked learning about the new studies, especially the gang ones.’

    ‘I feel so much more confident after Steve’s class.’

    ‘I could never understand theory and methods and now I do.’

    Cost: inclusive & regardless of number of schools attending

    Day: £500

    Half day: £300

    For more information, contact:

    Email: steve@shortcutstv.com

    Tel: 07771-561521

    GCSE AQA Sociology Revision Guides

    Friday, January 13th, 2017

    I recently came across this interesting set of guides for the AQA Spec., written by Lydia Hiraide of The BRIT School.

    The guides are dated 2013 – and although I’m not sure how they might fit into the latest Specification, I’m guessing there’s going to be a lot here that’s still relevant.

    You can download the following guides in pdf format:

    Socialisation

    Family

    Education

    Crime and deviance

    Social inequality

    Unit 1: Revision guide

     

    PLC: Electronic Template

    Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

    plc_ecoverWhile paper-based PLCs are useful, electronic PLCs bring a new dimension to the teaching table in a couple of ways:

    Firstly, they allow students to type / cut-and-paste content directly into their PLC. You can, for example, provide a list of required content in text format for your students at relevant points in the course and it’s quick and easy for them to add this content to their PLC.

    When you examine the template you’ll see I’ve allocated a lot of space to content (25 pages, each with space for 24 pieces of content) and it’s not obligatory to fill every line of every page with course content. The reason for including so many pages is simply technical; unlike with the paper-based version you can’t add pages as and when they’re needed.

    Secondly, they can be stored and accessed electronically. The pdf file format allows data to be entered and saved and this file can be stored somewhere like Google docs or wherever you normally store such files.

    This allows you to quickly and easily access student PLC files to see how they are coping with different types of content – something you can do at any time because students don’t have to carry around physical copies of their PLC. This also means it’s easier to makes copies of student PLCs and they’re less-likely to get lost or damaged than paper-based ones. (more…)

    Personal Learning Checklist Template

    Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

    plc_coverPersonal Learning Checklists (PLCs) are a simple and effective tool for identifying the extent to which your students feel confident they have grasped the key course content you have defined for them. Although the basic idea has been around in various forms for a number of years, if you’re not familiar with it, PLCs involve:

    1. Teachers identifying essential subject knowledge.
    2. Students keeping a record of their understanding of this knowledge.

    In other words, PLCs are a way of recording work covered and whether or not it’s been understood and while there are different ways to construct PLCs, the basic format is broadly similar: a list of key subject knowledge against which students rate their understanding.

    (more…)

    A-Level Revision: Education

    Friday, November 25th, 2016

    ghrevAs an addendum to the Revision Booklets post, here’s one I missed earlier – an extensive revision booklet for AS Education produced by Greenhead College.

    As you might expect from a Sociology department consistently ranked as outstanding by Ofstead their approach is:

    1. Thorough – the booklet includes a comprehensive set of revision notes.
    2. Informative – the document is annotated with helpful suggestions about how to demonstrate various assessment objectives in written exam answers.

     

    GCSE Revision Resources

    Thursday, November 24th, 2016

    While it’s probably fair to say that teacher-created GCSE revision resources are a bit thin on the ground (and take a bit of finding), there are useful resources “out there” if you’re prepared to do a lot of searching. To save you the time and trouble, here’s some I found earlier (the quality’s a bit variable, but needs must etc.):

    gcsemedia

    Unit 1 Revision Guide

    Unit 1: Education

    Unit 2 Topics – keywords / concepts

    Crime and Deviance

    Mass Media Revision Booklet

    Unit B671 (Sociology Basics) Revision: Methods / Culture / Socialisation / Identity

     

     

    A-level Revision Booklets

    Thursday, November 24th, 2016

    If you’re looking for revision ideas / inspiration check-out this set of AS Sociology Revision booklets produced by the Tudor Grange Academy:booklet

     

    Booklet 1

    Booklet 2

    Booklet 3

     

    And if you want something to add to your classroom walls, they’ve also produced some basic Sociology posters:

    pomo_poster

    Feminism

    Functionalism

    Marxism

    Postmodernism

    Social Action