Tag Archives: research methods

A few thoughts on revising research methods in context/ applied research methods

The ‘applied methods*’ question appears in paper 1 of the AQA’s Education with Theory and Methods exam (paper 7192/1). This is out of 20 marks, and students are expected to apply their understanding of any of the six main research … Continue reading

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Validity in Social Research

Validity refers to the extent to which an indicator (or set of indicators) really measure the concept under investigation. This post outlines five ways in which sociologists and psychologists might determine how valid their indicators are: face validity, concurrent validity, convergent validity, construct validity, and predictive validity.  Continue reading

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Are female surgeons better?

New research suggests that women make better surgeons than men. For the study, a team at the University of Toronto compared like for like procedures performed by 3,314 surgeons at a single Canadian based hospital over an eight-year period. This … Continue reading

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Some (Relatively) Recent Examples of Participant Observation Studies

Participant observation is one the main research methods on the A level sociology syllabus, but many of the examples in the main text books are painfully out of date.  This post provides some more recent examples of research studies which … Continue reading

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Good Resources for Teaching and Learning Research Methods

Being able to choose appropriate research methods and executing those methods effectively are absolutely essential if we are to collect valid, reliable and representative data, and below I present some links to some of the best resources which enable us … Continue reading

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Evaluate the strengths and limitations of using questionnaires to the role of parents in pupils’ achievement

An example of a ‘methods in context’ question take from an AQA specimen paper – suggested strategy below… (05) Read item B, then answer the question below (hooks in bold) Item B Investigating the role of parents in pupils’ achievement … Continue reading

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Using covert participant observation to investigate pupils with behavioural difficulties

An example of how you might answer a methods in context question on the AQA’s A level sociology paper 1. (05) Read item B, then answer the question below (hooks in bold) Item B Investigating pupils with behavioural difficulties Some … Continue reading

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Methods in Context – Possible Method and Topic Combinations

Methods in Context- Here you need to be able to assess the strengths and limitations of using any method to research any topic within education. The different methods you need to be able to consider include – Secondary documents Official … Continue reading

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Qualitative Data – Strengths and Limitations

Qualitative data includes…. Open question questionnaires Unstructured interviews Participant observation Public and private documents such as newspapers and letters. Theoretical strengths Better validity than for quantitative data More insight (Verstehen) More in-depth data More respondent-led, avoids the imposition problem. Good … Continue reading

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Assess the Usefulness of Positivist Approaches to Social Research (30)

Just a few thoughts on how you might go about answering this question… if it comes up on paper 3 of the A level sociology exam  Paragraph one – outline the key ideas of Positivism Positivists believe that sociology can … Continue reading

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