Sociology Through Active Learning

It’s been a while since I last posted any orphaned texts and Sociology Through Active Learning is one I’ve been meaning to post for some time but haven’t managed to get around to it until now.

Broadly, it’s a text designed to provide teachers with a range of activities to use with their students, both individually and collectively, to help develop the kinds of skills (knowledge, analysis, evaluation – you know the drill) useful to students.

And by “students” I’ve a strong suspicion the text was originally aimed at an American Undergraduate audience (possibly an introductory (101) undergraduate program).

Having looked through the various activities, however, there’s not a lot here that can’t be adapted to an A-level / High School audience if any of them take your fancy and you’re looking to add a bit more interest to areas like:

  • Theory and Methods
  • Culture
  • Socialisation, Interaction and Group influence
  • Stratification
  • Organisations, Bureaucracy and Work / Occupations
  • Race and Gender
  • Crime and Deviance
  • Family
  • As ever with these types of text the content’s a bit of a curate’s egg, with a number of relatively simple and straightforward activities that don’t demand much preparation and a few that certainly do. In the main, the emphasis is on “doing” (as in collecting data from experiments through observational research to simple surveys) and “analysing”: understanding how the data that’s been collected can be sociologically interpreted, on as simple or as complex a level as you like.

    While this text isn’t going to revolutionise your teaching, it might give you a few pointers about how to introduce a few more active elements into the classroom – particularly in relation to theory and methods. This could apply to both teaching the topic itself (understanding experiments, for example, by actually conducting one) and to using simple research methods, from surveys to observation, to investigate areas like culture and socialisation, family life and deviance.

    Which, all things considered, is pretty good for nothing.

    Although that may not have quite come out the way I originally intended.

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