Sociology is the study of human society, social relationships and institutions within it. Unifying the study of these diverse subjects of study is sociology’s purpose – to understand how human action and thinking both shape and are shaped by surrounding cultural and social structures.
The study of Sociology must focus on contemporary society and foster the development of critical and reflective thinking with a respect for social diversity. Students will develop their own sociological awareness through active engagement with the contemporary social world.
Sociology lessons will:
Develop student’s knowledge of contemporary social issues and link them to theoretical viewpoints in the subject.
Encourage all students to challenge their perspective and question pre-conceptions.
Develop transferable skills such as interpretation, application, evaluation and analysis.
Give students the research skills to be able to plan, conduct, analyse and improve sociological research.
Retrieval Practice All lessons begin with a Do Now activity that is retrieval based. Retrieval tasks must aid students to draw on prior learning that is relevant to their learning in the lesson in order to develop their schemas.
Clear Explanation and Instruction Teacher led direct instruction in the lesson. This will involve explaining a concept, describing a process, introducing a topic etc. The core focus for the lesson will be covered in this section. Teachers will demonstrate the need to break material into small steps to take into account the limitations of working memory.
Modelling, Scaffolding and Worked Examples Procedural knowledge will be explicitly modelled to students to support metacognition. Teachers will narrate each stage of their modelling process and use questioning to check for understanding, specifically focusing on ensuring students understand each stage of the modelling process. Visualisers will be used to support the modelling process.
Formative Assessment Teachers will check for understanding multiple times a lesson. This may involve cold calling, probing questioning, process questioning, mini white boards, Google forms and choral response. The teacher will use these checks to adapt their lesson as necessary.
Independent Practice Students must have the opportunity to engage with independent practice in the lesson. Teachers must have explicitly modelled their thinking and expectations prior to this. It is essential that students already have relevant declarative knowledge as well as procedural knowledge in order to be successful.
Google classroom access Students will be able to access all learning materials, assessments, extension articles to help develop higher order learning skills and build a comprehensive structure to the learning on the course.
All the following must be an integral part of the study of each topic area:
sociological theories, perspectives and methods
the design of the research used to obtain the data under consideration, including its strengths and limitations.
Attention must be given to drawing out the links between topic areas studied.
Students must study the following two core themes:
socialisation, culture and identity
social differentiation, power and stratification.
The themes should be understood and applied to particular substantive areas of Sociology. These themes are to be interpreted broadly as threads running through many areas of social life. In addition, students must understand the significance of conflict and consensus, social structure and social action, and the role of values.
Contemporary UK society
The central focus of study in this specification should be on UK society today, with consideration given to comparative dimensions where relevant, including the siting of UK society within its globalised context.
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