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Archive for January, 2018

Origins: The evolution and impact of psychological science

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

The British Psychological Society has created a Timeline of significant dates the History of Psychology (with a few “interesting world events” thrown in for good measure) covering the period 1840 – 1999 (I’m assuming nothing much of interest has happened in Psychology since the Millennium? I could, of course, be wrong) that could be put to good use as a resource for something like Approaches to Psychology.

The format is simple but effective:

• click on a “psychological event” link and up pops a little box with a one-line description of – and picture to illustrate – the event.

• clicking a “find out more” link expands the information to a paragraph or three.

• click a “further information” link and you’re presented with links to pdf files, websites and video files (such as Ted Talks).

Your Own Personal (YouTube) Examiner

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Although there’s quite a fair bit of a-level sociology on YouTube (some of which we’ve contributed…) it’s probably fair to say most of it concentrates on Specification content – by-and-large the “stuff you need to know”.

While this is also, to some extent, true of the TeacherSociology Channel – there are Video Tutorials on areas like Family Life, for example – what caught my passing eye – and makes the Channel a little bit different from all the other’s vying for a piece of your precious time – are the short films on exam technique.

For these the basic idea is a simple one: create a screencast, narrated by an experienced a-level examiner, that hones-in on what students need to know / do / demonstrate in an exam to score the best possible mark for different question types.

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Models of Policing

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

A second dip into the online world of the University of Portsmouth reveals these Pages on Policing that, as with their previous offering, consists of a range (6 in all) of unlinked pages covering different models of policing, mainly in a “text-plus-a-few-picture” style.

While the style leans toward the short-and-sweet, that’s no bad thing in the sense that the notes provided are well-focused on the topic at hand.

The level is best described as “good A2”: the language used and understanding demanded should be fine for most a-level sociology students, even though this is probably some sort of online University module.

Introduction: The ‘force-service’ dichotomy in UK policing

Policing Models: Short introduction to notion of different models of policing

Community Policing

Zero tolerance (including links to Broken Windows, mainly in America but with some reference to Britain)

Problem-Orientated Policing (POP)

Intelligence-Led Policing (ILP)

Accounting for Crime: Individual and Social Theories

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

I can’t remember how or why I stumbled across this series of online Crime and Deviance modules from the University of Portsmouth but I do recall it took a bit of digging to find and pull-together the various elements because there was no obvious way to link each page in the module.

First World problems, eh?

I’m guessing the reason for this is that there’s a navigation system controlling how the pages display hidden away somewhere behind a University VLE and, for some reason, these pages have not been individually password-protected.

I could, of course, be wrong but, let’s face it, the chances of that are literally infinitesimal.

However, if I am wrong, another explanation is that the materials are dated 2013 so it’s always possible they represent some experimental pages for a course or module that never actually saw the light of day. Although some pages seem to have had a lot of care and attention lavished on them (i.e. they combine text with pictures and, in some instances, short “Test Your Understanding” multiple-choice questions), other pages consist of blocks of text with nary a picture in sight…

Either way, this all looks to me like it was all designed for something like a law course, or at least a course that’s not directly sociological or criminological: although the material seems intended for an undergraduate course it’s not a million miles away from A2 Sociology. There’s not much here, for example, that an A2 Sociology student would find overly-difficult to understand.

In the course of my rummaging I managed to find quite a few (by which I mean “more than a couple”) modules of varying length, complexity and, to be honest, interest, the first of which looks at a variety of individualistic and sociological explanations for crime:

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Psychology Learning Tables | 4

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

As I dig deeper and find more (and more…) examples of Learning Tables the initial “let’s post them alphabetically for convenience” plan seems both less and more appropriate – the latest batch being a case in point.

As you’ll see, they mainly come under the heading of “Alternative Theories” – which you’ll probably have noticed is alphabetically convenient but not very informative. This means I’ve then had to add a little bit of content explanation to save you having to download each file to see what it contains, which sort-of defeats the objective.

Some you lose and some you lose.

However, you can all be winners (see what I did there?) when you download these Tables (lovingly, I assume, created by various authors, which I’ve named where known).

In the main these Tables all tend to focus on (AO1) skills of knowledge and understanding, although one or two include helpful examples / applications. I’ll leave you to discover which does what. It’ll be our little secret.

As per usual the Tables are all in Word format, which makes it easy to edit them in whatever way you like:

1. Alternative theory: Atypical behaviour – Evolutionary theory (Gemma Ingram)

2. Alternative theory: Criminal Behaviour – Social Learning Theory (Miss K Elles)

3. Alternative theory: The Nativist Theory of Perception (Miss K Elles)

4. Alternative theory: Vygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive Development

5. Alternative theory: Non-Verbal Communication – The Evolutionary Theory (Miss K Elles)

6. Alternative theory: The Self – Eysenck’s Trait Theory (Miss K Elles)

7. Alternative theory: Sex & Gender – Psychodynamic Approach (Miss K Elles)

8. Application: The Self Real Life Application (Sara Callaghan)

9. Application: NVC (Sara Callaghan)

10. Applications of Research into Memory (Miss K Elles)

11. Application: Sex and Gender Research (Miss K Elles)

12. Applications: Research into Atypical Behaviour (Gemma Ingram)

Crime Displacement PowerPoint

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Over the past 50 years it’s probably fair to say that a great deal of the sociology of crime and deviance in both America and, to a lesser extent, the UK, has been orientated towards situational crime prevention techniques and strategies in terms of both practical strategies and theoretical explanations (such as Routine Activities Theory).

Part of the reason for this preoccupation with both building better – and trying to strengthen existing – mouse-traps is that there’s quite a bit of evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of various crime prevention strategies in reducing crime. Painter and Farringdon’s Stoke-on-Trent Street Lighting study, for example, is a case in point if you want to illustrate this idea.

However – and you probably knew there would be a but – when you’re looking at situational crime prevention in a-level sociology it’s always useful to have something up your sleeve for evaluation purposes and, in this instance, there are a couple of different types of “Yes, but…” evaluation you might want to consider.

T6: Types of Crime Displacement

The first focuses on six practical criticisms of SCP put-forward by Reppetto (1976) and Barr and Pease (1990) that describe various ways crime may be displaced by crime prevention techniques; that is, although a crime may be “prevented” it’s possible the offence is simply committed elsewhere, at a different time or by different people. In other words, while SCP strategies may give the appearance of “preventing crime” they may not be successful in every instance.

An obvious example here might be the presence of a burglar alarm on a property. This may deter an offender but if they simply move to burgle another, unprotected, property in the next street has a crime actually been prevented?

If you want to display the 6 types to your class I’ve put them into a simple Crime Displacement PowerPoint Presentation that should do the job adequately. If you’re not a PowerPoint Person the 6 types of crime displacement are:

1. Temporal: The crime is committed at a different time.

2. Tactical: The crime is committed using a different method.

3. Target: The crime is committed against a different target.

4. Territorial: The crime is committed in a different area.

5. Type (or Functional): A different type of crime is committed.

6. Transgressors (or Perpetrator Displacement): Prevented crimes are committed by different offenders.

While the types are, I trust, fairly self-explanatory you might want to think about examples you could use to illustrate each type (or maybe suggest one example if needed and ask your students to think of others). A relatively simple example of Territorial crime displacement, for example, might be something like prostitution or drug-dealing.

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Psychology Learning Tables | 3

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Another batch of Learning Tables to help you and your students organise their knowledge and understanding of various (alphabetically-presented) areas of the a-level course. These have all, unless otherwise stated, been created by Miss G Banton.

As with the Part 1 and Part 2 Tables these generally focus on presenting (AO1) knowledge followed by an Evaluation (AO3) Table constructed around a PEEL format.

Ainsworth’s Strange Situation and Types of Attachment [Miss K Elles]

Anger Management
Animal Studies of Attachment [Miss K Elles]

Anxiety [Miss K Elles]

Behaviourism
Behavioural Approach to Phobias [Miss K Elles]
Behavioural Therapy of Phobias [Miss K Elles]
Biological

Conformity – Asch’s Research
Conformity – Types and Explanations
Cognitive

Psychology Learning Tables | 2

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Convention dictates this second set of Learning Tables, primarily the work of Miss G. Banton (with one notable exception that I’ll explain in a moment) follows the first set of Tables and since this is not a rule I’m overly-inclined to break it’s only seems right-and-proper this should be the case.

These Tables are broadly-designed to cover Knowledge (Assessment Objective 1) and Evaluation (Assessment Objective 3) and while the latter uses relatively simple “for” and “against” arguments, an added dimension is created using a “PEEL” design. This, in case you’re not familiar with the mnemonic has the further advantage of encouraging students to structure exam answers in a specific way.

Without further ado, therefore, the following Tables are available for your downloading pleasure:

Endogenous Pacemakers and Exogenous Zeitgebers AO1 and AO3
Ethical implications of research studies and theory AO1 AND AO3

Free Will vs Determinism AO1 and AO3

Gender Bias AO1 and AO3

Holism and reductionism AO1 and AO3
Humanistic psychology LT

Idiographic and nomothetic approaches AO1 and AO3

Localisation and Function of the brain AO1 and AO3

The final set of Tables, created by Melissa Yeadon, are slightly different in that they’re designed to take the student through the research process – from initial hypothesis to understanding ethical considerations – and involve some student input (mainly in the shape of having to answer questions at various points). In all there are 10 Tables in this set.

Learning Tables Planning Research 

Psychology Learning Tables | 1

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

As with their sociological counterparts, Psychology Learning Tables come in a variety of styles, have been constructed for a range of different reasons and the ones I’ve scoured the web to find relate to different Specifications and exams. Keep these provisos in mind, however, and you’ll find some of these Tables useful – either “as is” or as inspiration for creating Tables of your own.

Since I’ve managed to find quite a few Tables on different areas of the Specification I thought it would be easier and more-convenient to post the first couple of batches alphabetically.

The Tables have been put-together by different authors at different times and I’ve indicated any significant differences and departures from the basic “Learning Table” format.

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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…

Restorative Justice: An Educational Dimension

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

You may – or as is probably more likely, may not – recall a post a while back that outlined some ideas on Braithwaite and Restorative Justice  as they relate to crime and criminal behaviour – a fact I mention only because I came across an interesting short video on how a school in Colorado (and no-doubt others in America) have introduced a form of restorative justice as an alternative to the more-traditional forms of punishment generally meted-out in such schools.

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Society Now Magazine

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Society Now” is a free full-colour magazine published four times a year by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and features a range of articles that “showcase the impact of the social science research” funded by the Council.

Although the magazine includes material that’s not necessarily relevant to a-level sociology – the ERSC funds a wide range of social scientific research in areas like economics. politics and geography – it’s worth browsing for the articles that, directly and indirectly, do touch on issues and themes sociologists – both teachers and students – will find useful. The latest issue (No. 29: Autumn 2017) for example has useful short articles on, among other things:

• The geography of inequality and poverty in Britain.
• The Summer of Love? – looking at “key changes to personal choice and individual freedom”
• England’s child protection strategy.
• Family-friendly employment rights

The magazine’s been published since 2008 (so there are quite a few – 28 to be precise – Back Issues  available if you fancy sifting through them) and is available in a number of formats:

Pdf download (the current edition, for example)

App download (for both Apple and Android OS).

Print: You just need to complete the online application form.

Britain In Magazine

 

As an added bonus the ESRC also publish a free annual magazine containing a range of news and feature articles, handily divided into sections (such as education, family, culture, media and health) that sociologists should find useful.

Past issues going back to 2007 are available as pdf downloads and the current issue is available in print format, although you have to contact them (email or phone) to order a copy.