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help with A level Psychology teaching please!!

Discussion in 'Social sciences' started by julietoc, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. I feel for you - and it sounds as if maybe the students are inappropriately doing PSych A level, when they don't have the ability.
    We have had to raise our entry requirements because 5 C's was no longer a predictor of success at A-level (my theory, we are obsessed with upping GCSE results, so spoonfed C's are not worth what they were - meaning B has become the new C).
    Students who want to study A-levels now need 7 A-C grades and for Psych they need a B in Science and English as well.
    I had to collect data over a number of exam sessions, revealing that those with a point score of 5 or below (never pass AS psychology) and those with a point score below 5.5 really struggle and rarely get more than a D, before I was listened too. Now, I have a say about taking students if they are below 5.5 (some have been ill etc so point score should not be used indiscrimminately). Guess what, the results are better.
    However, at the same time as raising entry requirements I radically altered the learning style, delivering through the use of the VLE and developing a culture of independent learning - this has had an incredible impact on results because students are given ownership of the course - they work in study groups and plan their own learning outcomes and HW (i rarely teach from the front, delivering content through Online learning folios). I spend the lessons, marking exam answers with the students (for instant feedback) and intensively questionning the study groups, who are set by ability - except weak students are spread out (one in each group).
    The other reason is the exams are not well marked - maybe get some remarked to check.
    You need to get a handle on what is not working and if it is the fact students are too weak (academically) then there is little you can do, except change exam results.
    On a final note, sociology is about one grade easier (based on ALIS) than psychology. So you would expect to see the same students doing better in sociology than psych.
    IF you want to discuss any of the above further - you can contact me: jocallaghan (at) wootton.beds.sch.uk

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