Sociology Education Notes

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Methods and Education
Unit 2 – 60%
Primary Resources
Research that is conducted by the Sociologist himself/herself Examples:
* Questionnaires – Open/Closed, Distribution: Postal or face to face * Interviews- Structured/ Unstructured/ Semi-structured
* Observation- Overt/Covert/Participant/ Non-Participant
* Experiments- Lab/Field
* Sample – Stratified/Random/Quota/Snowball
1. Definition
2. Strengths
3. Weaknesses
4. Examples
Strengths and weaknesses -
Cost and time, validity, reliability, generalisation, and representativeness Secondary Resources
Research that is conducted by someone else
* Internet
* Official statistics – Historical documents, diaries, newspapers * Books and Magazines
* Other studies by Sociologists/ Psychologists
* Parish/Church records

Advantages of secondary resources –
* Easy
* Quick
* Cheap
* You are able to compare trends
* It may be the only choice(historical)

Disadvantages of secondary resources –
* Inaccurate
* Incomplete
* Written for Sociologists
* Cannot guarantee reliability
* Cannot guarantee it is valid

Education
* State education has been available since 1880 in the UK- School was made compulsory for children up to the age of ten. * Foresters Education Act 1870 declared that school boards could be set up in districts where school were inadequate. * (In 1870 only one in 10 British children were attending school. Compared to 1 in 10 children in Germany) * Local Education Authorities (LEA) 1902, school boards were replaced by 300 schools by which time 20,000 schools and voluntary schools served 5.6 million pupils. * The Fisher Education Act of ``1918 made the state responsible for secondary education and students had to stay until they was 14 years of age – In 1947 it was raised to 15, and it 1972 it was raised to 16. * In November 2004, Every Child Matters was released by the DFES. School were required to work with other agencies to ensure that children would have the support they needed. * The tripartite system – Butlers Education Act 1944 introduced secondary schools for all pupils. * In 1965 Comprehensive reorganisation was not accepted by all. * In 1988 – Education Reform Act meant that schools were marketed to encourage parents to choose their school. And to encourage schools to perform better.

Theory and Education
Interpretivists – Social Actions Theory, it believes that the individual shapes society. Interpretivists like to have a conversation and ask why? Interpretivists like unstructured interviews and observations which produces qualitative data and validity. Positivists – Social Systems Theory, it believes that society shapes the individual. Positivists like quantitative data and statistics and social class. It’s said to have reliability and generalisation. Objective - Based on facts, impartial, unbiased. Get the facts to make conclusions, then place in an interpretation (own personal opinions) Subjective - Based on your own interpretation and is biased. Value laden – Heavy in interpretation

(Based on the opinions of the Sociologists)
Interpretivists social actions look at the actions of the individual and gains a subjective understanding of meanings participants. Value freedom- The research is not influenced by the Sociologists own opinion and beliefs Micro – Small scale sample; focuses on the individual

Macro - Big scale sample; laws of society e.g. official statistics Ethics affect interpretivists more than positivists

Official statistics
What are official statistics?
Statistics that are gained by the government or other official bodies – all information gathered is quantitative data. The statistics are on: * Births – Register
* Death – Register
* Divorce rate
* Suicide
* Unemployment A LOT MORE OPEN INTO INTERPRETATION * Crime

All examples of official statistics are...
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