Archive for August, 2017

Crime and Criminology: Offender Profiling

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The final WJEC Criminology PowerPoint provides an overview of offender profiling covering things like:

• Evidence and the crime scene

• British and American approaches to profiling

• Examples of profiling successes and failures

• A Scenario that requires students to both apply any psychological theory with which they are familiar to the crime depicted and to assess the usefulness of profiling in this particular case

As with the previous PowerPoints in the series (probably by Janis Griffiths) this is concisely and clearly presented and provides a solid starting point for teachers looking to introduce the concept and practice of offender profiling.

Measuring Crime

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

This large (30-odd slide) PowerPoint Presentation was (I’m guessing) put together by Dave Bown as part of the WJEC textbook project (I think he wrote / co-wrote the online A2 eBook).

It’s an interesting and wide-ranging resource that introduces a number of different topics related to the practice and problem of measuring crime. These include:

• Crime trends
• Different ways to measure crime
• Reported and Recorded crime
• Criminal characteristics
• Dark figure of crime
• Perspectives on crime statistics (Functionalist, Marxist, Interactionist, Realist, Feminist)
• Underreporting and Under-recording crime
• Victim and Self-Report studies
• Risk Society
• Fear of Crime


Crime and Criminology PowerPoint 4

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

The fourth WJEC Criminology PowerPoint offering provides an overview of feminist approaches to crime and criminality and, as you might expect, follows the format of the previous Presentations in this series:

• brief Introductory and summary Notes

• discussion questions

• short activities

• suggestions for further personal / independent research

• a “scenario” exercise that requires students apply a social theory of their choice to understand and explain the situation described.

It’s all very nicely, concisely and clearly presented – and while it’s by no-means all students will need the Presentation provides a good starting and jumping-off point for teachers looking to introduce feminist approaches to crime.

Psych’d Magazine Issue 2

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Psych’d is a twice-yearly (October and July) Psychology Magazine, published by WJEC (formerly the Welsh Joint Examining Committee) designed to support teachers and students studying for the WJEC and Eduqas A-level Psychology qualifications.

While, as you might expect, the magazine contains material (CPD events, important dates and recommended textbooks) specific to these particular exam boards, it also features a range of short, concise, articles teachers and students following other psychology a-level qualifications will find useful.

In this respect Issue 2 has the following articles focused on research methods:

• An active way to teach ways of assessing validity
• Personal Investigations: A Guide for the Terrified
• How we conducted our experiment on bilingualism
• Questionable Research Practices
• An observation of gender differences in food choices
• Skewed Distributions
• An Insight into the Potential Issues of a Personal Investigation

Crime and Criminology PowerPoint 3

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

The third WJEC Criminology offering – again I’m thinking it’s by Janis Griffiths – focuses on Sociological theories of criminality and serves as a brief introduction to:

• Marxism,
• Functionalism,
• Interactionism and
• Realism.

The main content here is basically a one-screen summary of key points so it’s probably best seen as a launching-point for further research and discussion than an end in itself.

There are a couple of interactive slides (match the statement to the perspective, for example), class discussion questions, suggestions for personal research and the feature I find most-interesting about all the Presentations I’ve featured, “the scenario situation”.

Here, students are presented with a basic scenario – in this instance an Asian-owned shop under attack by local youths – and students are required to examine and explain the scenario from the viewpoint of one or more different sociological approaches / theories.

I think it’s probably fair to say that I like this idea so much I’m prepared, at some point when I get a bit of time, to create scenarios of my own and then pass the idea off as one I may have invented…

Psych’d Magazine

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Psych’d is a twice-yearly (October and July) Psychology Magazine, published by WJEC (formerly the Welsh Joint Examining Committee) and designed, in the words of its editor, “to provide key information, suggestions for teaching, updates and news as well as interesting features relating to our WJEC and Eduqas Psychology qualifications”. 

Although the magazine contains stuff (applying to be an examiner, CPD events, recommended textbooks…) that’s only really going to be of interest to teachers following these qualifications there are also a number of articles that teachers and students following other psychology a-level qualifications will find useful.  

Issue 1, for example, has the following:

  • The Psychology of Happiness
  • Understanding Psychological Approaches in Bowlby and Alfred Adler
  • Introducing research methods
  • Autism
  • Using technology

Overall, the magazine is professionally produced with short, interesting, articles aimed squarely at the a-level student. It’s well worth a look, whether or not you teach WJEC / Eduqas psychology.

Crime and Criminology PowerPoint 2

Monday, August 21st, 2017

The second WJEC Criminology offering – I’m taking an educated guess that it’s by Janis Griffiths – focuses on Individualistic theories of criminality and, in particular, the assumption that criminal behaviour is related to particular types of criminal personality.

This is illustrated by short Notes on three different theories and their major proponents: 

1.     Eysenck (personality theory).

2.     Sigmund Freud (psychodynamic theory). 

3.     Albert Bandura (social learning theory).

In addition to some simple discussion questions the Presentation also includes a “Scenario” section in which students are presented with a specific situation – in this instance, abusive partners – and asked to apply and evaluate an individualistic theory in this particular context.

If your students need some guidance in this task there’s a further PowerPoint Presentation designed to take them through the basic steps.

Additionally, if you want to develop the question of whether killers are “born or made” Professor Jim Fallon’s neuroscientific research will prove very helpful in this context.

Crime and Criminology PowerPoint 1

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

It’s probably fair to say that over the years attempts by different UK Exam Boards to provide teaching and learning materials for Sociology have, in the main, been somewhat half-hearted. The general position seems to be that while this new Internet-thingy confers a range of opportunities to provide teachers with information and guidance, providing teaching resources is probably best left to publishing companies (particularly those companies with which a Board has an “approved textbook” relationship).

One shining exception to this generally-depressing situation is WJEC (formerly the Welsh Joint Examining Committee) who, to their great credit, have taken the provision of teaching resources seriously (even to the extent of commissioning their own AS Sociology and A2 Sociology textbooks that are distributed freely online).

This generosity of spirit (or, more-probably, economic necessity) extends to the Board’s Criminology Specification and while the resources are by no-means as extensive as those available to Sociology teachers, I’ve managed to dig-out a few examples that might be useful to those teaching Crime and Deviance across different exam boards (either for the Notes they contain or, in some instances, the exercises they suggest).

This first PowerPoint presentation outlines Biological / Physiological theories of crime using a mix of Notes, questions and simple interactive tasks / activities.

The Notes take a fairly basic, no-frills approach, to describing the main ideas underpinning biological theories of criminality (or, if you prefer, they’re refreshingly “to-the-point”) and this material is complemented and extended by identifying a range of general criticisms of these types of approach.

The presentation is completed by a sample of standard “discussion questions” and a rather more interesting “scenario” exercise. Here, students are presented with a simple scenario – in this instance youths menacing elderly residents – and are then required to apply their knowledge of biological approaches – and their criticisms – to assess and explain the situation.

GCSE Psychology: Revision Booklet

Friday, August 11th, 2017

The final offering in this short GCSE Psychology series is a revision booklet by R Cummins of Knowsley College that covers both

Unit 1: Making sense of other people (Memory, Non-verbal communication, Development of personality, Stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination and Research methods). 

Unit 2: Understanding other people (Learning, Social influence, Sex and Gender, Aggression, and Research methods)

The emphasis, as you might expect, is very much on revision and the booklet takes a no-frills approach to the topic through a combination of: 

  • Checklists
  • Notes and
  • Practice exam questions.

  • It’s not the most visually-dynamic offering, but it does the job it sets out to do…

    GCSE Psychology: Unit 2

    Thursday, August 10th, 2017

    Having posted stuff for AQA Psychology Unit 1 it’s probably only fair to do the same for Unit 2 so today’s post focuses on two offerings

    1. Understanding Other People: This resource, created by T Mitchell, consists of information and activities – plus a few revision tips – focused on various aspects of Conditioning. There’s one specific reference to a textbook that you may have to change if you don’t use the featured textbook.

    2. Unit 2 Revision Booklet: Although this offering from Caroline Thomas-Smith covers some of the same ground as the previous booklet, it contains much more besides (from social learning theory through aggression to research methods) and has a much greater focus on revision. It does, however, contain a few activities and an extensive range of exam questions.