I’ve just finished watching the BBC programme of this title. I’d say it should be fairly thought-provoking for teachers and useful for sociology students too. I’ve linked it on some previous posts. This is just to give a link to the academic involved in the programme - Prof Dylan Wiliam. His website has some potentially useful resources -there are podcasts and some papers.
The Classroom Experiment is definitely worth watching - quite possibly as a good example of how not to set about trying to changing teacher’s less helpful teaching techniques. Professor Dylan may be right about ‘hands up’ - but is it good practice to impose just one mechanistic technique to avoid this -and in such absolutist fashion - the Professor said it was ‘not negotiable’.
A quote from M.G. Durham, The Lolita Effect:
“For girls, the discussion of economics comes as a big surprise most of the time. They have not thought about the connection between the advertising and marketing of beauty products and the content of the media; they’ve never realised that the liquid foundation recommended in the advice column of a magazine is also advertised on the back cover, and that the magazine profits from making the recommendation.” p110
I am trying to finish this book so that I can write up the long awaited handout/review I promised. This may prove to be one occasion when better late than never may be wrong.
Richard Sennett is one pretty high-profile sociologist who doesn’t get much of a look in as far as A level sociology is concerned. Whatever the reasons for that neglect, he’s worth a look. Check out his website - students and teachers may well find some of the podcasts very useful for their purposes. And a word of warning - Sennett is one of those sociologists who defies easy categorization.
A social scientist from Durham University - Dr Ann Le Mare - has won the Michael Young Prize for work on the impact of fair trade on the wellbeing of women workers in Bangladesh. Through comparing women who were employed in fair trade with other paid work opportunities it was found that fair trade employment had a significant influence on reducing poverty and improving social wellbeing.
Perhaps those are two things which teachers need to bring into the sociology curriculum? Fair trade and wellbeing.
Last week it was Greg Philo of Glasgow University, this week it’s Anthony King, Professor at Exeter, who turned up on Newsnight earlier this week. King did a PhD on - I think - football hooliganism at Salford University, then got a job at Exeter. With an interest in masculinity King unsurprisingly gravitated to military sociology (Exeter is near to several large Royal Marine bases) and now here he is on Newsnight, spouting forth about Afghanistan. Rather unconvincingly I felt, but never mind that. It does show the possibilities for sociologists - the subject is very broad. So work hard and you too could appear on Newsnight.
This BBC site looks like it should prove useful for anyone studying or teaching sociology of the media. It’s the BBC’s self-styled ‘College of Journalism’ rather cringingly referred to as ‘CoJo’. But it does have lots of pages discussing journalists work ethics, practices and all that sort of stuff. Very useful.
I flagged up the John Humphrys programme that was on last night, but actually it’s part of a whole load of progs on education - School Season. They are all worth checking out and for my part I’m particularly keen to see the Classroom Experiment which looks like it will be examining teaching strategies.
In no particular order of priority. This BBC 4 Storyville doc about pirates looks really useful for crime and deviance and culture and identity - amongst other things. Also worth a passing glance will be John Humphrys take on educational opportunities. It will be interesting to see if anyone interviewed for the programme manages to get a word in.
The Pope is worried about secularization - it’s not just an exam question issue for him. Here’s a link to the Pope’s Westminster speech
And for all students, a question: Is the Pope’s visit and the media publicity surrounding it, evidence for or against secularization? Discuss.
Well probably not anymore as I gather it’s been scrapped. But another way of looking at it is to invert the question: is Big Brother watching you? Researcher Emmeline Taylor looks into surveillance in a secondary school on R4 Thinking Allowed.read more...»
Students sometimes ask what the point of sociology is and what you can do with it. Well, here’s a great chance to see a sociologist getting stuck into relevant, topical public policy debate. Greg Philo of the Glasgow University Media Group debates with Grant Shapps on the BBC’s Daily Politics.
Sociology should not be ethnocentric and teachers can help avoid parochialism by guiding students to this excellent radio documentary It’s also worth checking out the Royal Geographical Society website - after all, Geography is a social science (well, at least partly - it combines natural and social science I guess). Expand your mind - think about other places. And who knows, maybe one of your students will apply for the Journey of a Lifetime in a few years time?read more...»
A couple of links here which may be of use to sociology teachers. First there is the Political Studies Association - great for armchair politicians - but it can have some useful links and resources for those interested in this area. The other is Academic.edu - can be a great way of uncovering new research or looking up academics you already know of and want to find out a bit more about.
I taught at a High Security prison this morning. I’ve done it for years, mainly because it’s so interesting. Its certainly not for the money!! I was short of students and was told that this was because of the end of Eid, a particularly important part of the Muslim calendar. According to both prison officers and prisoners the number of Orthodox Muslims has increased massively over the past few years. Would any students and tutors out there like to explain why, perhaps using Sociological rather than theological reasons?
Criminology is undergoing - well, I don’t know if it’s a revival - but it’s certainly an incredibly popular degree subject these days. Laurie Taylor has been wandering around the British Society of Criminology conference this week and offers a few interesting interviews.
Poor old Tony Blair has had to cancel a book signing. Rather ironically this has garnered the ex-Prime Minister even more publicity for his book. It also raises a few questions about the rash of political biographies we are witnessing as one generation of politicians leave office and go in search of further glory and pay packets. But what’s it got to do with sociology?read more...»
I think this is interesting - and its very relevant for sociology students looking at education - the issues of meritocracy and the role on education in general. You may not have heard of PPE. It refers to Politics, Philosophy and Economics, which, as the linked article explains is a very fashionable degree course run by Oxford University. But what is education for? Does any particular subject provide the best preparation for life and work? And what sort of graduates do we want to reach elite positions - assuming we must have elite positions?read more...»
Another Thinking Allowed worth catching up on. Laurie Taylor talks to Paul Ormerod about the theory of networking and the currently fashionable idea of the ‘Big Society’ and that book titled ‘Nudge’.
Thanks to Jim Riley for alerting me to this news item. Worth using this if you are examining the relationship between crime and gender.
A great quote for class debate I think:
Marxism is Slavery - Capitalism is Freedom.
I spotted it on a demonstrators poster on an item about racial and cultural tensions in the USA which was featured on Newsnight yesterday.