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Sociology

unit overview - autumn term

Subject: Sociology AS Level - The sociology of Education

Skills

  • Analysis  skills - as applied to various types of factors that influence achievement
  • Analysis skills as to sociological literature (i.e. studies by Becker, Willis etc.)
  • Evaluation of sociological  perspectives – as to various views of the functions of the education system (Functionalism, Marxism, Postmodernism, etc.)
  • Essay writing skills
  • Debate skills as applied to external vs internal factors that impact education
  • Analysis and interpretations of various types of graphs and visual information
  • Extended writing skills – as applied to exam questions
  • Design of  specific research methodology – qualitative and quantitative methods as applied to the educational context

Knowledge

  1. The role and function of education
  2. Education, social class, gender and ethnicity
  3. External factors that affect education
  4. Internal factors that affect education
  5. Educational Policy in the UK
  6. The history and development of educational policy in the UK
  7. The Left Vs The Right view of policy

Rationale

Students will consolidate their knowledge the main methodology of sociology as it relates to a topic (education) that is immediate to their everyday experience of the world.

Throughout this topic an emphasis is placed on defining the key concepts of sociology as they relate to a social experience that is immediate (the educational system)

Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key sociological theories by reading and responding to extracts (detailed of sociological studies) which illustrate the different views of sociologists.  They should be able to critically analyse and evaluate how these sociologists have interpreted the issues.

For each topic area students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of relevant methods and methodological issues and critically evaluate issues with presented studies (Becker, Willis, Delphy and Leonard) (AO3)

Written and oral debates will be used foster an understanding of sociology as a discipline predicated on perspectives

An introduction of the link between sociology and everyday life through how sociology informs Government Policy

unit overview - spring term

Subject:  The sociology of families

Skills

  • Analysis  skills - as applied to various types of families
  • Analysis skills as to sociological literature (i.e. studies by Rapoport and Rapoport, Young and Wilmott etc.)
  • Evaluation of sociological  perspectives – as to various views of the nuclear family
  • Essay writing skills
  • Debate skills as applied to domestic roles
  • Extended writing skills – as applied to exam questions
  • The critique of  changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce, childbearing and the life course, including the sociology of personal life, and the diversity of contemporary family and household structures
  • The discrimination of demographic trends in the United Kingdom since 1900: birth rates, death rates, family size, life expectancy, ageing population, and migration and globalisation.

Knowledge

 

  1. The relationship of the family to social structure and change
  2. The Family and Social Policy
  3. Changing patterns of Family Life
  4. Gender Roles and Relationships
  5. The Nature of Childhood
  6. Demographic Changes in the UK

 

Rationale

Students will familiarise themselves with the main methodology of sociology as it relates to a topic (families) that is most immediate to their everyday experience of the world.

Throughout this topic an emphasis is placed on defining the key concepts of sociology as they relate to a social experience that is immediate (family life)

Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key sociological theories by reading and responding to extracts (summaries of sociological studies) which illustrate the different views of sociologists.  They should be able to critically analyse and evaluate how these sociologists have interpreted the issues.

For each topic area students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of relevant methods and methodological issues and critically evaluate issues with presented studies  (AO3)

Written and oral debates will be used foster an understanding of sociology as a discipline predicated on perspectives

unit overview - summer term 

Subject: MIC -Methods in Context

Skills

  • Analysis  skills - as applied to various types of sociological research
  • Comprehension and analysis skills as to sociological literature (various sociological studies)
  • Evaluation of sociological methods  – qualitative, vs quantitative, primary vs secondary, PET analysis
  • Analysis and interpretations of various types of graphs and visual information
  • Extended writing skills – as applied to exam questions
  • The design of specific research methodology – qualitative and quantitative methods – as applied to various the educational context
  • Students will be able to discriminate between sociological paradigms like consensus, conflict, structural and social action theories

Knowledge

  1. Primary vs Secondary Data
  2. Qualitative vs Quantitative Research
  3. Observations
  4. Interviews
  5. Experiments
  6. Secondary Sources
  7. How to evaluate sociological research
  8. Practical issues when conducting research
  9. Theoretical issues when conducting research
  10. Ethical Standards in Sociological Research
  11. Sampling
  12. The Educational Context
  13. The Educational System as an institution

Rationale

The study of the topics in this area of engages students in theoretical debate while encouraging an active involvement with the research process.

The study of MIC should develop a critical awareness of contemporary social processes and change, and draw together the knowledge, understanding and skills learnt in different aspects of the course.

Students will familiarise themselves with the main methodology of sociology (this permeates all other topics)

Students will evaluate the sociological methods and conceptualise why none of them are ideal methods but contingent on the research question.

The step by step guide for conducting research is designed to foster an understanding of the decision process all sociologist make

knowledge organisers

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practise spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.