Designing first-year sociology curricula and practice

Thomas, Theda and Rechter, Sue and Wallace, Joy and Allen, Pamela and Clark, Jennifer and Cole, Bronwyn and Sheridan-Burns, Lynette and Jones, Adrian and Lawrence, Jill Designing first-year sociology curricula and practice. Asian Social Science.

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Abstract

Many countries are now specifying standards for graduates in different disciplines, including sociology. In
Australia, the Australian Sociological Association (TASA) has developed Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs)
for sociology to provide the learning outcomes that students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sociology
should achieve. These TLOs have encouraged universities to think explicitly about their sociology curriculum in
a holistic way. This paper reports on a project that investigated the skills and concepts sociology students need to
learn in first year to meet the TLOs by the time they graduate. The project identified the needs of students as they
transition from school or work into the study of sociology in first year through a study of literature of first-year
pedagogy and a student survey. A workshop was held for sociology that involved 37 academics from 14
universities. The workshop was used to promote a rethink of teaching of sociology in the light of the new TLOs
as well as to collect ideas from the participants. The student surveys, workshop ideas and relevant literature were
analyzed and synthesized for each TLO to determine what skills and concepts first-year students needed to learn,
identify what they might find difficult and propose strategies for teaching. The paper also provides practical
ideas for engaging academics with thinking holistically about the sociology curriculum and for teaching and
learning sociology in the first year of an undergraduate degree.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2018 00:26
Last Modified: 09 May 2018 23:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: discipline standards, first-year pedagogy, learning outcomes, sociology, threshold concepts
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130299 Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33251

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