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The light we steal when we learn

This extract from Danielle Allen’s superb Why Plato Wrote brought to life an issue which I’ve found myself returning to endlessly over the years. On pg 26 she talks about the Socratic disdain for writing and the capacity for teaching seen to inhere within them. When Socrates says that a […]

The end of the opaque classroom

From The Idea of the Digital University by Frank Bryce McCluskey and Melanie Lynn Winter pg 6-7: What makes the online course so different? When the semester is finished, there is a record of every interaction, every question and every event that occurred in the digital course. There was no […]

On Teaching Theory

This short exchange with Michael Burawoy offers some thought-provoking reflections on teaching social theory. He identifies the major traditions of teaching theory within American sociology, before outlining his own ethnographic approach: The Survey: surveying extracts from a comprehensive range of social theorists, each one treated as an instance of a broader category. Essentially disconnected and […]

the creepy treehouse problem

In their enthusiasm for the pedagogical uses to which social media can be put, academics sometimes don’t stop to question whether students actually want to interact with them on social media. This is sometimes referred to as ‘the creepy treehouse problem’: requiring students to interact with you on what they perceive […]

A new resource for teaching social theory

Along with Cheryl Brumley, I’ve been producing ‘virtual dayschools’ for the Centre for Social Ontology. They’re intended to provide accessible introductions to difficult topics by mixing up text, image and video. They’re intended as a preliminary to engaging with what is often difficult literature rather than as a replacement for […]

How to get started on a sociology essay

Are you clear about what the question is asking? If you’re uncertain about what the terms mean or how they fit together then it’ll be difficult to know how to start writing. Try and clarify issues like these before you start planning the essay. Try getting everything you think about the […]

BSA Teaching Group Conference on June 15th

BSA TEACHING GROUP CONFERENCE Saturday 15th June 2013 Nottingham Trent University Sponsored by the Higher Education Academy  The BSA’s Teaching Group is pleased to announce a regional conference hosted by the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University. This event is aimed specifically at sociology teachers and will bring together a […]