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HN Social Sciences Development Day


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Title: HN Social Sciences Development Day

HN Social Sciences Development Day
  • Social sciences
  • Skills
  • The new award
  • Assessment

Good time to be studying social sciences!
  • Economic crisis
  • Rising unemployment, alienation, addiction etc.
  • Social media
  • Civil unrest and riots
  • Occupy movements
  • Cult of celebrity
  • Culture of narcissism
  • Toffocracy in power again
  • Scottish independence?

Good time to be teaching social sciences?
  • Public sector under attack and in crisis
  • FE in crisis funding, redundancies, mergers
  • Prioritising course provision with skills
    development and 16-19 (-24) year old age groups
    top of the list
  • Uncertain progression and positive destinations
    for our students due to the above
  • Social sciences a soft target

Social sciences are important
  • Couldnt be more relevant
  • Socratic Know thyself and The unexamined life
    is not worth living!
  • Self consciousness of our society
  • Critical citizenship
  • Interculturalism and tolerance
  • And we can do enterprise!
  • But lets not forget skills.

Winning the skills argument
  • Specific and general
  • Transferable
  • Essential
  • Core
  • Soft
  • High order thinking

High order skills
  • High Order Skills Excellence Group publication
    (2011) reporting for the Cabinet Secretary
  • Deep learning is the central principle of
    Curriculum for Excellence. It involves knowledge,
    understanding and the skills needed to apply
    knowledge in useful ways.
  • The promotion of skills is, therefore, a key
    function of the curriculum. People acquire
    advanced skills at every stage of life and,
    therefore, teachers (and all other learning
    providers) should cultivate these skills from the
    earliest years onwards .

New HN awards
  • Developed with the following in mind
  • CfE,
  • skills for learning, life and work
  • SQA skills framework
  • Changing forms of assessment in HEIs
  • An assessment strategy with greater focus on
    skills development and flexibility quality over

First steps at Abcol
  • Importance of planning for assessment
  • Horizontal planning (course)
  • Vertical planning (subject)
  • Gradually building in the new instruments of
  • e.g. blogs and academic posters with
  • Skills need to be delivered
  • Tracking against skills
  • Contexts need to be meaningful
  • Skills need to be explicit, owned by the learner
    and valued by all
  • Assessment of skills should be systematic
  • - formative and summative

Assessment plan
Changes in Family Structures between 1851 - 2011
We took part in a Social Science Investigation
into changes in family structures and the reasons
behind these. We paid particular attention to the
period between 1851 and present day.The main
investigation required comparison of Census data
to be made. The graphs below illustrate our
From looking at the graph it is obvious that the
extended family is dying out as there is an
obvious fall in the number of extended families
(nuclear family plus blood relatives, often
includes 3 generations) between 1851 and present
day. This could be because there are better
welfare for families in Aberdeen as present day
as most people are now able to send their
children through the education system, can afford
care for their elderly family such as carers and
have access to healthcare for all their family
this therefore means that the extended family is
not necessary like it once was. Furthermore as
industry increases and job prospects arise for
families, they may end up having to relocate
geographically, meaning that part of their family
is left behind.
It is evident that one person (pensioners) as a
family type was a lot more common in 2001 than in
1851. When compared there was approximately 4
falling into this category in 1851 and this
increased to about 13 in 2001. This suggests
that people are living longer, this could be
because benefits such as pensions and free
healthcare and travel were available in 2001
which they did not have access to in 1851.
The graphs show that unexpectedly lone parent
families have decreased in Aberdeen from 9 to 5
in 2001. This could be due to people dying at an
earlier age and leaving one parent to look after
the children, but it could also be that many
husbands worked away for periods of time e.g.
sailors and when analysed on data they were
classed as lone-parents as no partner was
Another family type which sees' an increase
according to these two Aberdeen censuss is one
person families (other than pensioners). The
percentage increase in 2001 from 1851 is
approximately 21. Furthermore proposing that
people are not so dependent on marriage as they
once were, as women in particular are now able to
get jobs to support themselves which would not
have been common in 1851. People who are getting
married are also on average marrying at an older
age so are alone until they marry if they do
marry at all, as Margaret Davis suggests The
average age for those getting hitched has gone up
by around five years since 1991, and in 2006 the
average age for a first marriage was 31.8 for men
and 29.7 for women. (2008). It is also a fact
that divorce would not have been accepted up
until the mid 1900s but is vastly increasing in
present day, which could be another reason why
there are so many people recorded to be living on
their own in 2001 in Aberdeen.
This decline in religion may indicate to the
reasoning behind the difference between family
types in 1851 and in 2001. As some religions,
such as Catholicism, do not support the use of
contraception or abortion, the impact of fewer
children can be displayed in the graph. Some
Catholic supporters have been known to believe
that Those who contracept are spiritually dead
(sic) (Foy, V. 2002).
  • Bibliography
  • Census for Aberdeen 1851 Accessed Aberdeen
    Central Library 12/04/11
  • Census 2001, General Register Office for Scotland
    Online Available http//
    /census/censushm/index.html Accessed 12/04/11
  • Margaret Davis (2008). Marriage rates lowest
    since records began. online. Available from
    Accessed on 19/03/11
  • Foy, V. Contraception is Anti-Church, 2002
    Online Available http//www.catholicevangelism.
    org/family-contraception-2.shtml Accessed

In 1851 a survey found that about 40 of the
population attended a religious ceremony on a
chosen Sunday (Lambert, T. No date). This is a
higher turnout than recorded in 2001, where just
33 of the Scottish population claimed that they
were religious but, no details about attending
ceremonies was mentioned (ANALYSIS OF RELIGION IN
THE 2001 CENSUS, 2001).
How has mental health treatment changed in
Aberdeen since 1851 to 2011.
Aberdeen Lunatic Asylum was opened in 1800, known
today as Royal Cornhill Hospital, which had 12
cells and in first 18 month 27 patients were
admitted. In 1841 there were 197 patients staying
in Aberdeen Lunatic Asylum. (medical report)The
need for more places grew and by 1857 the average
number of patients per day was 291, therefore,
when Lunacy Act Scotland 1857 came into power,
each district had to take care of their own
patients. The latest redevelopment for hospital
was done in 1994 and it has 90 long stay beds,
180 acute psychiatry beds, out-patient
accommodation and the Fulton clinic.
  • As mental illness has changed massively since
    1851 to nowadays by improved medicaments,
    treatments, technology used, which makes
    diagnosis more reliable and most importantly the
    attitudes from public and carers towards the
    patients, which means that ill people are more
    likely to seek medical attention and getting the
    right treatment for it, therefore this is an
    interesting and important topic to research
  • First of all the plan was set out and question
    created, in order to know what to look for and
    what detail to put into investigation. Then
    primary data was collected in library from Census
    1837 in order to gather information about how
    many people actually lived there. After the
    secondary sources of information were looked at
    such like available books and journals.
    Throughout the investigation project time
    multiple online resources were used for

In 1851 there were 173 (85 female, 95 male)
patients living in Aberdeen Lunatic Asylum of
which 2 (1female, 1 male) were in age group of
10-19, 21(7female, 14male) in age group of 20-29,
41(26female, 15male) in age group of30-39,
40(20female, 20 male) in age group of 40-49,
32(17female, 15male) in age group of 50-59 and
37(24female, 13 male) from 60 and older, which is
shown in graph below, in order to see the
differences clearly.
Another important finding is from the medical
report of Lunatic Asylum of Aberdeen in 1841,
which shows for what reason the patient has been
admitted to the Asylum, for example dementia and
fatuity, which is an older people illness and
treated as a normal disease, not mental, fever,
which is not considered as a mental illness at
all or disappointment in love, which is more
likely to be defined as a depression at some sort
of a level. The most interesting case that was
found on report is person suffering from
childbirth, which is quite popularly known as a
Post natal Depression in nowadays.
The medical report from Lunatic Asylum of
Aberdeen in 8141 supports the fact that people
were likely to spend their whole lives in the
Asylum and would not know, when they will be
leaving, once admitted. On 1st of May in 1841
there were remaining 141. Out of all 141
patients, 117 were considered as incurable and
rest of 24 patients of which 15 were considered
as unfavourable with some chances of improvement
and only 9 curable patients, therefore this
evidence proves that most of the people were
likely to stay in the Asylum for no fixed period
of time.
References Ramsay R., Gerada C., Mars S.,
Szmukler G. (2001) Mental Illness, A Handbook for
Carers, London and Philadelphia Jessica Kingsley
Publishers 19.04.2011. Scottish Archive Network.
Online. Available from http//
gue/person.aspx?codeNA15782st1. Accessed on
16.03.2011 From History to her story. Online.
Available from http//
k. Accessed on 16.03.2011 Care Quality
Commission. Online. Available from
http// Accessed on
19.04.2011 Department of Health. Online.
Available from http// Accessed
on 16.03.2011 McKinney B. E. (10.11.2009) Mental
Illness in the Victorian Era. Online.
Available.from http//
Accessed on 16.03.2011 03.2002. Reviews in
History. Online. Available from
http// Accessed on
16.03.2011 http//
n/t73-2.doc. Census 1851 microfilm
In 1960s 70s it become clear, that people who
were staying in mental institutions were not
getting better, but worse, scandals around poor
standards of care and conditions, which was the
turning point for setting the way towards
removing a long stay mental hospitals, and
introducing the community care. In nowadays
people are admitted to mental institutions only
on very rare occasions, when most patients leave
the hospital after a few weeks, whereas back in
1851 people spent their whole life in the asylum.
People can be admitted to mental institutions
only voluntarily or under the Mental Health Act
1983 with amendments done in 1995 (introducing
the aftercare), which basically means, that a
person would be admitted to a mental institution
only in a case, when he is a life threat to
himself or others.
Victorian period Now
Long term period of residence Bad attitudes from public and carers, because of lack of knowledge, research Lack of other social provision for mental illness patients Short term residence in the mental institution, because of community care, as well as the costs of mental institution Attitudes from carers and public have improved, because it is seen as beneficial for patients to integrate into society Patients can be treated with drugs, as well as the research carried out helps to understand better the illnesses.
Sociology emerged from enlightenment, shortly
after the French Revolution, as a positivist
science of society.
Auguste Comte, who grew up with the changes of
the French Revolution all around him was hugely
influenced by the changes in individuals and
society. He gave name to sociology, confidently
expecting that it would provide the highest level
of scientific explanation in establishing laws of
human society itself.
The industrial revolution and urbanization
changed people traditions and life styles,
breaking down established patterns of social
life. People moved from country side to large,
anonymous cities to work in big
factories.. Change happened from Gemainschaft
what was broadly characterized by a moderate
division of labour, strong personal
relationships, strong families, and relatively
simple social institutions to Gesellschaft when
individuals acting in their own self interest
emphasizing second relationships rather than
community ties, and there is generally less
individual loyalty in society.
C.Wright Mills was one of the leading
sociologists who brought new ideas to society and
the study of society.. He poses three questions
that have to be answered in order for there to be
any enlightenment on how a society behaves the
way it does
What is Sociology?
Private troubles and public issues. Mills
suggested that when looking at society, we have
to look at the bigger picture. This means looking
beyond the familiar to see the reasons behind it.
This was called using the Sociological
Imagination. When a man is unemployed in a city
then it was his private trouble. However when a
nation of 6 million and over half are unemployed,
this becomes a public issue. For example, here
are some private troubles that have become rising
public issues Divorce rates, Unemployment rates
Poverty and deprivation Drugs and alcohol
Depression Gap between rich and poor
1. Structure What are the components of a
society? Does it change? How does it
differ from other societies?, 2. History What
historical factors are there that shapes a
society and teach us about human behaviour? 3.
Biography - What type of people live in
society?How do everyday actions shape society?
The Macro way of looking at society is generally
applied when looking at the bigger picture. An
individual does not have much influence on the
world around it and social institutions, such as
education. These forces shape the individual and
their choices. social class determines what type
of school it will most likely go to, and the
higher the social class the better the school.
The better the school equates ultimately to a
better job. Whereas if from a poorer education
can lead to either a low paid job or unemployment
despite the individuals abilities. The micro view
of sociology is looking at social actions and how
that shapes society, instead of the social
institutions., looking at how symbolic
interaction can shape society.
First Rule of Sociology
Functionalism is a Macro level Consensus theory
which sees society as a complex system with
various different parts working together in order
to produce a stable and prosperous society.
Durkheim uses what has become known as the
biological analogy to compare society to that of
a living organism. Connecting parts of society
i.e the social institutions need to work in
harmony with one another to ensure a healthy
society. Functionalism emphasises the importance
of a moral consciousness in society and a general
consensus over basic norms and values, ensuring
continued social order. (Giddens, A. 2009)
Marxism is a Macro level Conflict theory whose
key theorist is Karl Marx. It sees society as a
conflict between the two main social classes, the
bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Marx argued that
we live in a capitalist society with the
bourgeoisie controlling and exploiting the
proletariat causing social unrest between the
classes. There is huge importance on the economy,
as it shapes and underlines the whole of
society. Marxs superstructure model of society,
economic production has two key elements,
technology and social relationships. Technology
refers to industry and social relationships
refers to the relationships between the
capitalist ruling class, who control economic
production and the workers, who are the source of
labour. Upon this foundation lie the major social
institutions and core cultural values of a
society, which created by the bourgeoisie to keep
us in control. All of these social elements
joined together to form the superstructure. This
shows us how a theory of conflict characterises
the relationship between society and the
individual in the context of social
stratification. (Macionis and Plummer, 2008)
Symbolic Interactionism is a Micro level Social
Action theory based on key theorist George
Herbert Meads work on the social nature of the
human being and focuses on the way in which
humans use symbols such as language to interact.
This theory stresses the importance of these
interactions in creating society and social
institutions. It provides an account of the
important phases of child development, giving
particular attention to the development of the
childs sense of self. According to the work of G
H Mead, young children develop as social beings
as a result of the actions of those around them.
It is through play that a child learns what Mead
called taking the role of the other. The
socialisation of young children takes place in
early childhood through the parent/carer, then in
education through teachers and peer groups and in
later life through workmates. Symbolic
Interactionism can therefore help us explain the
relationship between the individual and society
through the socialisation process. (Giddens, A,
What is Sociology?
The Origins of Sociology Sociology was developed
out of great social change during the 18th and
19th centauries One important social change that
aided the development of sociology is the
industrial revolution which occurred during the
18th centaury . As a consequence of the
Industrial Revolution, It resulted in a major
growth of cities People moved away from the
country-side in the search for jobs that such a
change brought. It resulted in an anonymous
workforce as people no longer lived in close-knit
communities which was previously the norm in
society. This in term then affect the way in
which people socialised between each other and
early sociologists were interested in examining
the social interaction between humans. The
Enlightenment was the first time in history that
sociological thinkers tried to provide
explanations of society. They were able to detach
themselves from society and attempt to lay down
general principles that explained social life.
(Collins 1994, 17).
Sociological Imagination The idea of the
sociological imagination was developed by C
Wright Mills in 1959. The study of sociology
offers individuals a unique way of thinking about
the world in which we live in. There are three
components which C Wright Mill argued are
essential to look at when studying sociology and
thinking sociologically (1) What is the
structure of this particular society as a whole?
What are its essential components, and how are
they related to one another? How does it differ
from other varieties of social order? Within it,
what is the meaning of any particular feature for
its continuance and for its change? (2) Where
does this society stand in human history? What
are the mechanics by which it is changing? What
is its place within and its meaning for the
development of humanity as a whole? How does any
particular feature we are examining affect, and
how is it affected by, the historical period in
which it moves? And this period - what are its
essential features? How does it differ from other
periods? What are its characteristic ways of
history-making? (3) What varieties of men and
women now prevail in this society and in this
period? And what varieties are coming to prevail?
In what ways are they selected and formed,
liberated and repressed, made sensitive and
blunted? What kinds of human nature' are
revealed in the conduct and character we observe
in this society in this period? And what is the
meaning for 'human nature' of each and every
feature of the society we are examining? (Mills,
Macro/Micro perspectives to sociology In macro
sociology, sociologists study society as a
structured whole.They want to generalize their
ideas to the whole of society. For example they
look at what education does for society as a
whole not just certain people in society. In
micro sociology, sociologists study face-to-face
interactions between individuals and small groups
to examine society. This includes body language
and symbols (e.g. Wedding rings to symbolise
marriage). In doing this, the interactions
between individuals shape society.
Functionalism The explanation of a social
phenomenon is undertaken, we must seek separately
the efficient cause which produces it and the
function it fulfills. (Greek, 2005) Functionalist
sociologists see society as stable and healthy
as they see the good in everything, even crime!
They also believe that society is based on
consensus, meaning that we are all in agreement
and that we are socialised by others to agree on
the way we behave and the difference from right
and wrong.
Concepts The first concept being socialisation,
this is where individuals learn the norms,
values, language and attitudes of their society
and the roles they have to play within it. G. H
Mead believed in socialisation is an important
part of personality formation, although some of
the personality traits are genetic personality
can be formed through growing up within a certain
society where certain things are acceptable. The
next concept is social order this is where laws
and regulations have been put into place to keep
everyone within the society in order. Governments
and organisations put laws in place and will use
formal sanctions such as fines and imprisonment
to keep the society in order. The last concept is
social stratification this is the belief that
society has been arranged in a way that groups
individuals finding themselves in a position of
advantages or disadvantages. Known as a
hierarchy, this could involve gender, social
class and ethnicity.
Marxism a theory in which class struggle is a
central element in the analysis of social change
in Western societies. Marxism is a macro level
conflict theory which examines society as a
structured whole. They see society as consisting
of inequalities, especially between two social
classes (bourgeoisie and proletariat).
Bibliography Mills, C. Wright. (1959) The
Sociological Imagination Online Available from
tml Accessed 1st December 2011 Sixsense (2005)
Marxism Online Available from
y/marxism.asp Accessed 1st December
2011 Greek, C. (2005) functionalist
Explanations of Crime. Available from
Accessed 1st December 2011
To smile or not to smile AN INVESTIGATION INTO
smiled at by the photographer, would smile back
at the photographer whilst photograph was being
  • Kramer (1977), in a study of stereotypical
    beliefs about verbal gender differences, found
    some beliefs about gender differences in
    nonverbal behaviors as well. Women were believed
    to smile more than men, to use the face and hands
    to express ideas more than men, and to be more
    concerned about the listener. Men were believed
    to be louder but less talkative than women
    (Briton, 1995).
  • In the 1980s researchers such as Morse (1982),
    Ragan (1982), and LaFrance (1985) conducted
    studies of yearbook photographs, with the aim of
    establishing gender differences in smiling. The
    researchers examined photographs of college and
    high school year books in the USA, and found as a
    result of these studies that women frequently
    smiled more than men.
  • By conducting a research influenced by previous
    research studies by Morse (1982), Ragan (1982),
    and LaFrance (1985) in relation to smiling in
    photographs, the aim of the research study was to
    establish that when a photographer smiled at an
    individual before taking a photograph, the
    individual would smile back in response, as the
    photograph was taken.

DISCUSSION The results showed that individuals
could be influenced into smiling for a photograph
if the photographer smiled at them before taking
photograph. Results also showed significant
gender differences in smiling for photographs
i.e. equal amounts of females and males were used
in each of the two conditions, the results show
the mean of females smiling at photographer is
25.50 as opposed to the mean result for males
smiling at photographer which were 24.25. The
standard deviation result shows females smiling
to be 16.257 compared to that of males which were
10.767. This then shows a significant gender
difference with regards to being influenced to
smile. Therefore results from the gender
differences in this study, also backs up the
findings from studies conducted by Morse (1982),
Ragan (1982), and LaFrance (1985). In
conclusion The experimental hypothesis was
supported, it showed a directional hypothesis as
participants were influenced to smile by
photographer smiling by a mean result for
condition 1 where photographer was smiling 2.63
compared to mean result for condition 2 where
photographer was not smiling 1.25. Also a result
using an Independent Sample Test was t (14)
2.04 p lt 0.05 again showing a significant
difference between the two conditions.
RESULTS The mean result for condition 1 where
photographer was smiling (mean smiling 2.63) is
higher than the mean result for condition 2 where
photographer was not smiling (mean not smiling
1.25). This is also true for the median and mode
(median smiling 3, median not smiling 1) and
(mode smiling 4 1, not smiling 0). The standard
deviation for the photographer smiling condition
is 1.408 and for the photographer not smiling
condition is 1.282. This suggests that the scores
in condition 2 are more spread out, therefore
less reliable to the researcher than scores for
condition 1 of which the researcher would be more
confident about.. The statistical test was
calculated using SPSS version 15, and results
were analysed using an Independent Samples Test
because data is parametric and related, the
result from the Independent Sample Test was t
(14) 2.04 p lt 0.05 this shows that there is a
significant difference between the two
Column chart showing visible mean results of
photographer from both conditions of research.
METHOD This study was a field experiment. A
field experiment was chosen because the
environment is more true to life, meaning
research is more ecologically valid, and the I.V.
can still be manipulated by the experimenter.
Independent measures were chosen because there
were two conditions of the experiment also if
more data was required then it could easily be
changed to repeated measures. The I.V. had two
conditions. Therefore the experiment was split
between two mixed groups of equal amounts of
males and females i.e. each group consisted of
four males and four females. Participants
photographs were taken by researcher who was
either smiling at them as photograph was taken or
was not smiling at participant as photographs
were taken, this was dependent on which group the
participant was in. The D.V. was whether or not
the researcher smiling or not smiling influenced
participants in each group to smile for
photograph or not to smile for photograph. All
participants were given the same standardised
instructions to follow from the researcher.
REFERENCES Briton, N., and Hall, J. (1995)
Beliefs about female and male nonverbal
communication. Online Bnet CBS Interactive
Business UK. Available from http//findarticles.c
Accessed 6th March 2010. Freelibrary. (2010)
The free library Smiling in school yearbook
photos Gender differences from kindergarten to
adulthood. Online Available from http//www.the
Accessed 6th March 2010 Gross, R. (2001) The
Science of Mind and Behaviour 4th Edition. Kent
GreenGate Publishing Services. Hays, N.,
Orrell, S. (1998) Psychology an Introduction (3rd
edition) Essex Addison Wesley Longman Limited.
Summary table showing mean, mode, median and
standard deviation for both conditions of the
Photographer Smiling Photographer Not Smiling
Mean 2.63 1.25
Mode (Bimodal) 4 1 0
Median 3.00 1.00
Standard deviation 1.408 1.282
Blogs as an instrument of assessment
  • College VLE/Blackboard
  • Organised at course/programme level
  • Essential / high order skills section
  • Campaspack tools for online wikis, blogs and
    learning journals.
  • Example given of Sociology C assessment on
    social control.