Category: methods in context

  • Researching in Classrooms

    The classic method for researching in classrooms is non-participant observation, the method used by OFSTED inspectors. However, there are other methods available to the researcher who wishes to conduct research on actual lessons within schools. Classrooms are closed environments with very clear rules of behaviour and typically containing around 20-30 students, one teacher and maybe…

  • Issues surrounding researching in schools

    There are tens of thousands of schools in the United Kingdom, which means that observational research which focuses on just one, or a handful of schools will be unrepresentative. This is also a  problem with any of the popular documentary programmes which focus on just one school – they are very interesting as they focus…

  • Researching Parents

    Home factors have more of an influence on pupil performance than school factors, and parents are certainly the biggest influencers of pupils at home, especially in their early years. Parents can influence a child’s attitude towards education in various ways: The amount of time they spend reading with their children in early years How they…

  • Reality TV School Shows – How Valid are They?

    Reality shows featuring schools have become common place on British T.V. over the last decade. One well-known example is the ‘Educating’ series, which started in Essex in 2011, then visited Yorkshire in 2014, and then another three series, with the latest airing in 2017. Each series followed one school through an entire year, with cameras…

  • Researching Teachers in Education

    Teachers are the ‘front line’ of education, with the primary day to day responsibility students’ education and well-being. If you want to understand the impacts that education policies are having on different types of student, then teachers are probably best placed to be able to tell you. However, there are a number of potential problems…

  • Experiments within schools

    What are the strengths and limitations of using laboratory and field experiments to research education?

  • Researching Pupils in Education

    Educational researchers might reasonably expect to have to conduct research with pupils at some in their careers, given that they are at the centre of the education system. This post outlines some the challenges researchers may face when researching pupils in the context of education. It has been primarily written for students of A-level sociology.…

  • Methods in Context Questions: A Full Mark Answer from the AQA

    Methods in Context Questions: A Full Mark Answer from the AQA

    An example of a full mark answer to a methods in context question from the AQA.

  • How to Answer Methods in Context Questions: A Model Answer from the AQA

    How to Answer Methods in Context Questions: A Model Answer from the AQA

    ‘Methods in Context’ questions appear on A Level Sociology Paper 1 (Education with Theory and Methods) and AS Sociology Paper 1 (Education with Methods in Context). Methods in Context questions will ask students to evaluate the strengths and limitations of any of the six main research methods for researching a particular topic within the sociology…

  • How I Would’ve Answered Yesterday’s AS Sociology Exam Paper (7191/1 – Education)

    A few thoughts on how the AQA’s 7191 (1) Education AS exam from May 2017 – If any teacher finds this annoying because they like to keep these papers back for next year’s mock exam, forget it – Any student can find out the questions on social media, very easily The AQA seems to be…