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Theory (or Concept) Maps are printables students can use to clarify and organise their ideas about key theories and / or concepts in sociology or psychology.

Click to download pdf file

In other words, they’re a teaching and learning tool that’s designed to be printed and completed by hand.

In the Theory Map File I’ve included both an example file – where I’ve indicated “what goes where” in each box – and a blank file that’s ready and waiting to be printed and completed.

Whenever a student encounters a new Theory or Concept they want to record and evaluate, all they need to do is print-off, complete and store a new page.

I’ve tried to keep the Map as simple and concise as possible to encourage students to see it as a relatively quick and painless way to create a revision-type resource they construct throughout their course. To this end, the Map has three basic levels that need to be successfully completed:

1. An indication of the Theory or Concept being discussed.

2. A short description of 3 Key Traits associated with the Theory / Concept.

3. For each Key Trait, a short explanation of evidence that supports the Theory / Concept and an equally short explanation of any evidence that contradicts or criticises the Theory / Concept.

The Maps are sufficiently flexible to be used in a variety of contexts – whole-class, small group or individual – and they encourage students to effectively create a glossary of key theories / concepts with the added bonus of getting them to think about evaluative evidence linked to the main ideas as they’re doing it.

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