The Sociology Show Podcast: Starter Pack

Although I’ve previously posted about Mathew Wilkin’s Sociology Show Podcasts, I thought it might be helpful to draw your attention to a very specific podcast designed to provide students with a Starter Pack of information pertinent to the start of their new A-level Sociology course (or, if you’re listening in America, their new High School Sociology course).

Although on the face of things the podcast is, at around 54 minutes, decidedly long, this is a little deceptive. It’s probably better to think of it in terms of three complementary segments that can be easily used either in the classroom or as preparation and / or consolidation.

Part 1 features Ben Hewitson who, you may recall, hosts his own series of podcasts – among many other things – on his allsociology site. Although this segment runs for around 20 minutes it’s broken-down into three shorter chunks of around 6 minutes each: What is sociology?, What can you do with a sociology qualification? and What makes a good sociology student?

Each of these chunks easily lend themselves to classroom use by introducing a specific idea that students can then be asked to think about and discuss.

Part 2 focuses on Wilkin defining 18 Key Terms students are likely to encounter in their first couple of weeks. These include relatively simple concepts like socialisation, identity, norms and the like, as well as more-advanced idea like the “I” and the Me”.

At around 60 seconds per definition there’s not much scope for anything more than a quick overview, but with a bit of judicious planning this could be used as the basis for an interesting opening lesson if you have the time and inclination. Alternatively it’s something students could use outside the classroom as a way of recapping stuff to which they’ve just been introduced.

Part 3 is the shortest section at around 12 minutes, with half that time given-over to an introduction to socialisation – something that, again, students could listen to before using it as the basis of further instruction / discussion – and the rest to Eric Miller talking about the Nature – Nurture debate. This is a short segment that could easily be used to introduce this particular topic.

Overall the Sociology Starter Pack crams a lot into its running time and has been cleverly designed to break-down into short, easily-digested, chunks that can be slotted into a lesson as and when required.

It also serves as an introduction to the Sociology Show Podcast Channel that now contains around 170 interviews with Real Sociologists talking, in the main, about their research. This is a free teaching and learning resource you can use and support by making a donation – large or small – on the Channel’s GoFundMe page.

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