здесь

Blog

Archive for July, 2019

Losing Their Religion? Using Statistical Evidence to Evaluate Secularisation

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

The secularisation debate in A-level Sociology, encompassing a wide diversity of ideas around pro, anti and post-secularisation positions, is an increasingly complex area for students to cover. Although this can make it a somewhat daunting topic, it also provides significant opportunities for students to critique these different positions (and gain solid marks for knowledge, application and evaluation into the bargain).

Given the argumentative nature of a debate that so often seems to turn on interpretations of different opinions, this, somewhat perversely perhaps, opens-up interesting opportunities for students to apply statistical data to different aspects of the debate and, by so doing, introduce highly-effective forms of evaluation into exam answers.

In this respect the latest British Social Attitudes Survey (2019) covering religious beliefs, attitudes and practices is a useful teaching resource in the sense it provides some interesting empirical evidence students can apply to evaluate two areas of the secularisation debate:

(more…)

A Cage and Freezing Water: One Woman’s Journey Through Depression

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019
Click to view preview
A Cage and Freezing Water

Our latest Psychology offering is a bit of a departure from the norm in that it’s focused on giving students an impression of what it’s actually like to suffer from depression through one woman’s experience of the condition – the fatigue, the feeling of being trapped and the continual voices in her head that told her to end her life.

While the film is not designed to give a “textbook” overview of the possible causes of depression, it’s presented in a psychological context that seeks to explore the experiences – and consequences – of depression in a way that provides a sympathetic, if at times unsettling, introduction to the subject.

This makes the film suitable as a general introduction to the topic of depression and the basis for students to explore possible causes, therapies and explanations.

The film does, however, touch on a range of mature themes – such as suicidal thoughts – that might make it unsuitable for certain audiences.

Sociological Research Methods On Demand

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

3 short films whose aim is not simply to tell students about sociological methods, but to show their strengths and limitations in action by looking at how these methods have been applied in key sociological studies. The films, also available on DVD, are now available to buy as individual titles on our new Vimeo On-Demand site.

Case Studies [5 minutes]

If you go and see your doctor or a therapist, you’ll become a ‘case’ to them. They’ll want to know a lot more about you. Similarly, sociological case studies involve putting a social group, an event or a place ‘under the microscope’. This film looks at a classic sociological study, The Spiritual Revolution, to show why case studies are used in sociology, what they provide for the sociologist and the extent to which findings can be generalised.

Self Report Methods: Interviews and Questionnaires [7 minutes]

How do school students negotiate the pressures to perform well academically alongside the pressure to popular and cool? Carolyn Jackson combined questionnaires and interviews to research this question and this film uses her study, Lads and Ladettes, to illustrate why these methods are chosen, their respective strengths and limitations and how the strengths of one can be used to offset the limitations of the other.

Participant Observation [7 minutes]

Some research questions can only really be studied by sociologists getting out of their offices and interacting directly with the people they want to study. Starting with the famous Chicago School of sociology, this film looks at some classic studies to illustrate why participation observation is used in sociology, its major strengths and limitations and its contribution to sociological understanding.

Elitist Britain 2019: The educational backgrounds of Britain’s leading people

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019
Summary Report: Click to downlaod
Summary Report

This latest report from the Sutton Trust looks at the various educational pathways taken by Britain’s elites “from the type of school they attended to where they went to university” to paint a picture of educational and economic inequality across our society.

The Summary version of the Report (there’s also a full version you can download if you want a bit more depth and detail) contains a wealth of useful statistical data, plus a bit of commentary that provides some basic, but still interesting, interpretation. There is also a 1-page summary of the policy recommendations to come out of the Report if you or your students are particularly interested.

Otherwise, the Summary is neatly divided into two useful sections:

Firstly, a short Overview has some general observations about “a country whose power structures are dominated by a narrow section of the population” backed-up with some facts and figures about Independent Schools, Oxbridge and the occupations with the highest and lowest percentage of students from these sources.

Secondly, a much longer section that links various sections of society and economy (Politics, Business, Media…) to Independent School and Oxbridge representation. The format here, again, is a short introductory commentary coupled with a page or so of statistical data.

Overall the Summary Report is something students and teachers alike should find informative and accessible, with a range of applications across different parts of the Specification.

Sociological Research Methods DVD

Monday, July 1st, 2019

Our first sociological research methods DVD features 3 short films whose aim is not simply to tell students about sociological methods, but to show their strengths and limitations in action by looking at how these methods have been applied in key sociological studies. The DVD features:

Interviews and Questionnaires [7 minutes]

How do school students negotiate the pressures to perform well academically alongside the pressure to popular and cool? Carolyn Jackson combined questionnaires and interviews to research this question and this film uses her study, Lads and Ladettes, to illustrate why these methods are chosen, their respective strengths and limitations and how the strengths of one can be used to offset the limitations of the other. (more…)