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Roadmap Templates

If you’ve been following the Sociology and Psychology Roadmap series over the past few days you’ll be aware we published a few blank PowerPoint templates (and by “a few” I mean “three”) that enable you to make your own Roadmaps.

Given these were probably not the most user-friendly resources for anyone eager to make their own bespoke Roadmap, I decided it might be more helpful to create a template that might be better-suited to producing something similar to – or preferably an improvement on – the kind of pre-made Roadmaps we’ve previously published.

Or, as it turned out, a number of templates.

You know how it is, you make one template then think about how to improve it and before you know it you’ve lost track of how many of the damn things you’ve made.

To this end, therefore, if you’ve been inspired by the Roadmaps we’ve published and are looking to take your students on their very own personal Learning Journey, but lack the wherewithall to begin, I’ve created a basic Roadmap template (it is literally a map of a road) you can edit to your heart’s content.

The easiest and most flexible way to make these Maps editable is to publish them as PowerPoint Presentations. It’s a program most teachers have access to and is relatively easy to use. So that’s why the templates are all PP Presentations. Once you’ve designed your Roadmap you can also publish it as a pdf file if that’s your preferred form of distribution.

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Psychology Roadmaps: KS5

Passmores School

This final set of Roadmaps completes the sequence of Psychology and Sociology Roadmaps we’ve published over the past few days.

If you’re coming to this idea fresh and don’t know your elbow from your roadmap just check-out any of those posts to discover what you’re missing. Alternatively a causal glance at any of the graphics accompanying this post or a quick click on any of the following links will bring you up to speed.

As you’re probably expecting from the title of the post, this set of Maps is designed to illuminate the KS5 (A-level) Psychology Journey:

Click for roadmaps

Psychology Roadmaps: KS4/5

Bishop of Westminseter Academy

A Roadmap is a visual, way to show students their “Journey” through, in this instance, GCSE Psychology. This usually begins in Year 10 (age 15) in England and Wales and lasts for two years (although, just to confuse non-UK viewers some schools start this course in Year 9 and run it over 3 years).

What I’ve cobbled together here are a range of Roadmaps that both reflect this difference – most cover 2 years but a couple refer to 3 – and extend it: in a separate section I’ve listed Roadmaps that cover both KS4 (GCSE) and KS5 (A-level). The latter, in part, reflects the fact Psychology, unlike Sociology, is far more likely to be taught pre-16 and students have, therefore, a more-integrated pathway through the subject from 15 – 18.

If you’re reading this from somewhere outside the UK (Scotland do things sort-of differently) you’re very likely to find all of this very confusing and not a little bit ridiculous. All I can say is: Welcome to the Pleasure Dome that is English and Welsh education…

Otherwise, as with their KS4 Sociology and KS5 Sociology counterparts, there’s no standardised way to construct a Roadmap (why aren’t you surprised by that?) so those you’ll find listed below are many and varied – and while they’re by no means an essential part of a Teacher’s Toolkit I do  think they have a place in the curriculum.

Whether that place is simply keeping students (and maybe their parents) appraised of what the course involves or as an OfSted crowd-pleaser I’ll leave it to you to decide. Either way, the least that can be said of them is that they do no harm (Probably. Don’t quote me on that), while more-positively I think they’re a useful way of involving students in their course by showing them a visual representation of the things they will be studying over the next 2 – 4 years.

How you use these Roadmaps is entirely up to you – either as is or as a starting-point for constructing your own…

Browse the roadmaps…

KS5 Sociology Roadmaps

Myton School

Having previously posted a range of KS4 (GCSE) Sociology Roadmaps I thought it only right and proper to follow this with a selection of KS5 (A-level) Roadmaps. Which, if you’ll excuse the self-aggrandisement, has been no small mean feat given that:

1. Until a couple of days ago I actually had no-idea such a thing as a Sociology Roadmap (or “Journey” as some prefer) even existed, let alone that teachers were creating them in such numbers.

2. I was looking for examples of something else (Curriculum Maps, since you wanted to ask) that turned out to be very much not what I was expecting. As I’m sure you realise, I’ve just teased a wider story there that I may or may not bother to pursue.

Anyway, back to the point at hand.

Like their GCSE counterparts, these Roadmaps are a bit of a mixed bag. Not in terms of Exam Board – for some reason the vast majority are for the AQA Specification – but content and what different schools / teachers consider relevant and irrelevant in terms of what should be included.

Although I’m of the firm opinion that Roadmaps are, in principle, A Good Thing – a big, bright, colourful visual representation of the A-level journey can’t hurt and is arguably preferable to the Old School practice of a quick syllabus run-through at the start of a course when everything’s too new and daunting for anyone to really pay much attention – those I’ve found seem to confirm there’s no real consensus about what should be included outside of broadly indicating the topics students will be studying over a two-year course.

Personally, I’m not convinced this necessarily matters because a visual representation of a student’s “Sociological Journey” probably doesn’t have to do much more than provide a broad overview of what they’re going to be studying over the next two years.

And while it’s unlikely anyone’s going to come-up with any hard evidence for-or-against their general utility as a classroom tool, their one big potential drawback as far as You – yes You – are concerned is that you’re going to have to create one from scratch once someone brings them to the attention of Senior Management.

Because you know, probably from bitter experience, how much Senior Managers love something New and Shiny that promises to magically transform your school or college’s “always less than should be expected” exam results. As you also know, partly because you’re a sociologist and partly because you’re a sentient being, there’s no point trying to argue that the latest example of educational magic they found “while browsing the Internet” won’t bring about such a transformation.

It will.

And it will be your fault for not practicing the magic correctly when it doesn’t.

So, to save a lot of time, trouble and tantrums (allegedly) I’ve brought together a selection (but only, as I’ve noted, for AQA. I’ve only found a couple that are not for this Spec. Don’t ask me why.) of Sociology Roadmaps you might find useful or, if you’re Really Keen, inspirational. In which case I’d redirect you to the blank(ish) PowerPoint templates I’ve previously posted.

You may or may not find them useful.

Continue your sociology journey…

KS4 Sociology Roadmaps

St Cuthbert’s High School

Sociology Roadmaps represent a simple, visual, way to show students “the journey” (they actually seem to be called Sociology Journeys by a great many schools and colleges) they are about to undertake in KS4 (GCSE) Sociology.

The Roadmaps I’ve found seem to suggest there’s no general, agreed, content displayed on the maps, outside of broadly indicating the topics students will be studying over their two-year course. While some stick more-or-less to the basics of indicating general content or topics, others are a little more adventurous in what they try to display: some, for example, indicate when and how students will be tested in the course of “their journey”.

Precisely how useful these Roadmaps actually prove to be is probably not something that’s likely to be quantified any time soon, but qualitatively I think they have a place in the curriculum.

What that place might actually be I’m not altogether sure, but on the basis that I’m pretty certain most teachers start GCSE Sociology by either giving their students a copy of the Specification or at the very least running through some edited low highlights a colourful visual can’t hurt.

What might hurt is having to make the Maps. This is why I’ve gathered a few examples you might be able to use as is (all but one cover the AQA Specification) or as inspiration – to give you a few ideas about how to construct your own personal Roadmap for your students.

Click to see list of roadmaps

More A-level Sociology PLC’s

It’s the first day of a New Year and on the basis that you can’t have too much of a good thing I thought I’d add a few more Personal Learning Checklists to the ones I’ve previously posted – although if you’re in the market for an electronic template that allows students to create their own PPLC’s (Personal Personalised Learning Checklists…), we’ve got that covered too.

Another reason for taking a more the merrier approach is that because there are different styles and Specification PLC’s, having a selection available makes it more-likely you’ll find a ready-made one that either fits the bill or serves as a template for your own efforts.

I’ve divided the PLC’s by their respective Exam Board categories to make things easier for teachers following different Specifications, but since there’s always a fair degree of overlap it might be worth having a look at Checklists for different Boards just in case a style catches your eye and inspires you to create your own unique PLC.

Or not.

It’s your choice.

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Introducing Journal Corner

BSA Sociology Journal

Discover Sociology, as you may or may not know, is a section of The British Sociological Association website dedicated to A-level sociology. It’s got a range of resources for teachers and students (notes, podcasts, videos…), the latest of which involves a “digested read” of recent research. This is located in something they’ve called “Journal Corner”.

To find it you have, somewhat counter-intuitively, to go to the Downloads section of the site. This wasn’t the first place I thought to look for it. Or the second, come to that. It was more a process of elimination.

Anyway, “Journal Corner” is a new feature that offers “curriculum friendly summaries of papers published in the BSA journal Sociology, accompanied by an informal interview with one of the authors“.

digested

The first research to be featured relates to contemporary youth subculturesin the shape ofGarland, Chakraborti and Hardie’s “‘It Felt Like a Little War’: Reflections on Violence against Alternative Subcultures” (2015) that studied “the forms and impact of violence against people identifying as members of alternative subcultures” using a mix of interviews and focus groups with respondents “from a range of alternative subcultural backgrounds“. The summary runs to around a 1000 words and touches on three curriculum areas teachers and students will find particularly useful:

Digested read…
  • culture and identity
  • crime and deviance
  • research methods.

It’s sandwiched between a short (200 word) introduction to “the nature of contemporary youth subcultures” and a longer (900 word) interview with Jon Garland about the research. I’m not sure if the former’s going to be a feature of every digested study, but this one complements the digested stuff very nicely. The latter, not so much. Not because it’s uninteresting – there’s a neat little section on how the research was carried out both teachers and students should find illuminating – but rather because I’m guessing very few students will actually bother to read it.

I could be wrong.

But we both know the chances of that are frankly laughable.

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Different for Girls?

Public spaces are made to serve us all, but if the needs and wants of girls and young women are not considered in the process, how inclusive can this space really be? Julia King, colleagues from LSE Cities, and a team of peer researchers have been exploring how public spaces can be made better for girls“.

This short (12 minutes) film looks at design decisions about public space and how it’s used in a Northern English town (Crewe).

It raises a number of interesting sociological questions about gender and could function as a useful starter for a discussion of things like gendered space (both public and private) you might want to develop with your students in the classroom.

Give One, Get One

The Facing History web site has some interesting Teaching Strategy resources you can either use as is or adopt to the particular needs of your subject, teaching and students.

Give One. Get One.

One of these that particularly caught my attention as being potentially useful for A-level Sociology and Psychology teachers is Give One, Get One, described on the site as a “cooperative learning strategy” in which “students seek out and share ideas and information with classmates“. The basic idea is that students “formulate initial positions and arguments in response to a question or prompt and then share them with each other through a structured procedure“. In practice this involves:

  • teachers posing a general question to the class.
  • students recording their initial ideas about information they think relevant to answering the question
  • students exchanging their ideas with selected partners.

While that covers the basics of the strategy, both teachers and students need to understand the process and full instructions on how to run the strategy are given on the web site (so I don’t propose to go over them here).

The site also provides some ideas about how to debrief students at the end of the exercise but you’re obviously not restricted to this particular way of doing things. I’d go a little further and say that with a bit of thought and tweaking this is the kind of exercise that could easily be used as preparation for an extended piece of written work – such as an essay or timed exam question – or as the basis for a revision session.

One obvious problem you might have to get around is that if you pose an initial question that is specifically aimed at, say, writing an essay you need to ensure your students have enough information about the topic to initially record their ideas. Otherwise the classwork section of the strategy may prove difficult and / or frustrating to implement. One way around this may be to ask students to prepare their ideas about a topic or question prior to coming to class.

Classic Studies: The Strange Situation

Continuing the facelift for the Classic Psychological Studies resource that began with Bandura’s “Bobo Doll” experiment, the next Presentation to be made a bit more (and when I say “a bit more” I obviously mean massively more) visually interesting and interactive is Ainsworth’s “Strange Situation”.

As with the previous Presentation this consists of 5 sections designed to introduce students to the basic methodology involved in the experiment, plus a few short bits of evaluation (strengths and weaknesses):

  • Aims
  • Procedure
  • Findings
  • Conclusions
  • Evaluation

Before you use the Presentation with students you may need to familiarise yourself with the interactive elements because they can be a little tricky to get to grips with. The controls are not always what you might expect from PowerPoint links and it might be a bit embarrassing to find things not going quite to plan visually when you’re talking students through the Presentation.

Luckily I’ve had the foresight to include a few brief notes that outline how to use a couple of the trickier slides.

Don’t thank me (as if…), it’s my job.

Oh. And One More Thing

Although the Presentation contains a couple of minutes of video from a real “Strange Situation” observation, if you want to give your students the full, immersive, experience then why not try the short “Strange Situation” video we made a little while ago?

Available to buy or rent in an interesting Child Attachment Package that includes short films on Bowlby and Maternal Deprivation and Meins on Mindmindedness.

Accent as Cultural Discrimination

Download the full Report

In the UK, an individual’s accent has historically been interpreted as a marker of – and proxy for – social class, with received pronunciation” (“BBC English”) in particular assuming a dominant position across a variety of professional occupations (media, politics, the civil service…) through it’s association with the higher social classes. Regional accents, on the other hand, have conventionally been associated with lower social class and those who speak them have experienced discrimination in the school, workplace and society.

In recent years this form of cultural discrimination has, it’s been argued, declined in significance with either a gradual flattening of population accents so that most are now indistinguishable and interchangeable or of little importance in day-to-day social interactions.

A new study by Levon, Sharma and Ilbury (Speaking Up, 2022) has, however, challenged these assumptions and argues that “accent bias” throughout the life course remains a significant source of socio-economic class discrimination.

If you want to read the full report it’s available for download from the Sutton Trust, but if you’d prefer the edited highlights, they are as follows:

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Classic Studies Revisited

Right-click to download PowerPoint Presentation

A couple of years ago (September 2019 to be precise) I posted a Classic Psychological Studies resource that consisted of 5 PowerPoint Presentations with accompanying Word-based activities that, as I noted at the time, were pretty basic (and then some).

Revisiting these resources recently I thought it might be quite nice to see if I could improve on the Presentations which, in all truth, wouldn’t be difficult.

Be that as it may, I decided to see what could be done with making the Bandura, Ross and Ross “Bobo Doll” experiment Presentation a little more visually interesting and interactive and this is the upshot – a short Presentation that outlines the five elements of the original:

  • Aims
  • Procedure
  • Findings
  • Conclusions
  • Evaluation

Before you use the Presentation with students it would be as well to familiarise yourself with the interactive elements. If you need them there are notes included with the interactive slides.

Mass Media: Old and New

Globalisation and the Digital World

I’ve previously posted a Resource Pack and some Revision Stuff on this topic and although it’s peculiar to a single UK Exam Board (OCR in case you were wondering) it covers material – from ownership and control to concepts of class, age, gender and ethnicity – that most media sociology courses incorporate into their discussion of the social and technological impacts of new forms of digital media. If you want to check-out what’s covered – and pick-up a few useful teaching bits-and-bobs into the bargain, have a look at the Lesson Element issued by the Board.

Even if you don’t teach this particular Specification the PowerPoint Presentations I’ve collected are worth checking-out just to see if there’s stuff that can be adopted and / or adapted to the specific requirements of whatever A-level Specification you teach.

In addition, for those of you who are still a bit Old School in how you present the media I’ve added a few more mainstream Meida Presentations on stuff like Defining the Media, Representations and The Selection and Presentation of Media Content.

The first batch of materials was created by Lizzie Read and while they’re presented as PowerPoint Presentations I’d suggest that you may find it more helpful to convert them to .pdf documents, mainly because some of the slides contain quite large amounts of information that would be difficult to read in Presentation format.

PowerPoint Resources

6-Word Stories

The idea of a 6-word story is, as the name suggests, to construct a coherent, understandable, narrative in six words or less – a brilliant example being one attributed to the American novelist Ernest Hemmingway:

“For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn”.

While no-one’s suggesting students should aspire to this level of story-telling poignancy, the basic idea is to get them to focus their thoughts on the creation of short, pithy, ways to summarise key theories, concepts and methods in memorable ways that make them easy to revise.

Think of the 6-word story as being a bit like a signpost students can use to direct them towards remembering key ideas in their course. These, in turn, should key them into further ideas that build, like the links in a chain, into something substantial and memorable.

Although the 6-word limit is somewhat arbitrary, it does serve two useful purposes:

Firstly, it’s way of disciplining the thought process such that students need to think carefully about how and why they construct their story. Allowing students to exceed this limit does, ultimately, defeat the object of the exercise.

Secondly, by creating this arbitrary rule students know that every concept, theory or method they want to describe always consists of 6 words: No more and no less.

One way to encourage students to construct their own stories is to set aside a few minutes at the end of the last class each week to allow them to share the stories they’ve constructed during the week with their peers.

And if they need a little help and encouragement to construct and share, there’s no harm in you starting things off with your own contributions.

Alternatively…

If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to spend time explicitly encouraging students to put-together their own 6-word stories, an alternative is to do it implicitly. That is, as part-and-parcel of your general teaching.

You can, for example, use your own 6-word stories to describe the key theories, concepts or methods you introduce in the course of your teaching.

Here’s some that I made earlier:

Participant Observation: “Watching you. Watching Me. Watching You”

Social Construction of deviance: “I don’t like what I see”

Labelling: “You are if I say so”

Divorce: “They changed from Is to Was” / “Strangers. Friends. Best friends. Lovers. Strangers”

Daniel Butcher: Sociology

I’ve found it a bit difficult to evaluate the films produced by Sociology Teacher Daniel Butcher, for reasons that should become apparent, so I’m going to depart slightly from the usual blog format and just try to list some of the pluses and minuses.

This is partly because I’m a little ambivalent about whether it’s worth featuring the Channel at all – again for reasons that will become clear – and partly because there’s around 150 films (give-or-take – I may have lost count) to plough through.

Which I didn’t do.

Obviously.

I just skimmed some of them or, if you prefer, I sampled them.

Non-representatively probably.

On the plus side…

The films are aimed at OCR students, which makes a pleasant change from all the AQA-centric stuff that’s around.

They walk students through how to answer specific exam questions of varying length.

Most of the films are short, between 4 – 10 minutes, although a few are much longer. One covering changes in the class structure, for example, is over 30 minutes – probably too-long for this type of exercise.

A range of topics – Research Methods, Education, Crime, Inequality and Religion – are covered.

Mr. Butcher has quite a pleasant voice and delivery.

It’s instructive to see how classroom technology has evolved over the past 10 years – from bog-standard whiteboard-and-marker-pen to swish New Tech boards with computer graphics – without any accompanying change in teaching style.

It’s quite interesting – and possibly instructive – to see someone age before one’s very eyes. Quite literally.

Click for the down side…

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Roadmap Templates

A range of PowerPoint templates to help you create your own Sociology / Psychology Roadmaps.

Give One, Get One

A simple teaching strategy to structure an extended peice of writing in sociology or psychology.

Mass Media: Old and New

A range of PowerPoint Presentations focused on new and old forms of Mass Media, including globalisation and the digital social world.

Daniel Butcher: Sociology

I’ve found it a bit difficult to evaluate the films produced by Sociology Teacher Daniel Butcher, for reasons that should become apparent, so I’m going to depart slightly from the usual blog format and just try to list some of the pluses and minuses.

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