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1 The importance of evidence

The gathering, presentation and assessment of evidence are crucial and indeed inescapable parts of the practice of social science, hence the crucial role of evidence in the circuit of knowledge (see Figure 1).

Figure 1
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • identify that social scientists can collect evidence to support their claims and theories in different ways;

  • give examples of quantitative and qualitative evidence;

  • recognise a variety of methods for obtaining evidence;

  • understand the ways in which evidence can be presented; how to read it actively and with purpose.

Introduction

Social scientists collect evidence to support their claims and theories in different ways. Such evidence is crucial to the practice of social science and to the production of social scientific knowledge.

You may be aware of the idea of active reading, which is about reading with the aim of understanding and grasping something: a definition, an argument, a piece of evidence. What that suggests is that active reading is about reading and thinking at the same time. In
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1.3 Active reading

Whatever the specific objective of reading, as a student you will always need to read in an active way. Active reading involves reading with a purpose; that is reading in order to grasp definitions and meanings, understand debates, and identify and interpret evidence. It requires you to engage in reading and thinking at one and the same time in order to:

  • identify key ideas

  • extract the information you want from the text
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School Governors: primary school monitoring
School governors need to be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of primary schools. But what areas should you be monitoring and how can you ensure that monitoring is effective. This unit will help you assess these matters and also look at the kind of evidence you should be sourcing, and how that evidence should be evaluated.
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1 3. From experience to interpretation

In almost all films, the visual story is completed first, dialogue and sound effects are then added and music is composed last of all. However, when Disney made the animated film Fantasia in 1940, they reversed the process, producing animations based on pieces of classical music. You may like to look at the Disney archives website, or read some information about the making of Fantasia from the Disney family museum website.

At the time, this was thought of as a way to popularise c
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6 One hundred possibilities
What do you think being creative means? This unit engages with the debates surrounding the term ‘creativity’ and explores ways in which ICT creates new opportunities for creativity and collaborative working. The unit would be of interest to teachers, parents and carers, and can be studied on an individual basis or as part of a school-based training session.
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3.1 Introduction
What do you think being creative means? This unit engages with the debates surrounding the term ‘creativity’ and explores ways in which ICT creates new opportunities for creativity and collaborative working. The unit would be of interest to teachers, parents and carers, and can be studied on an individual basis or as part of a school-based training session.
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Sustainable Scotland
This broad-based unit will introduce you to a number of different aspects of sustainability that impact on Scotland and the wider world. It wil appeal to anyone with an interest in a sustainable future in the context of contemporary Scottish society.
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1.2 Influences on creativity
What do you think being creative means? This unit engages with the debates surrounding the term ‘creativity’ and explores ways in which ICT creates new opportunities for creativity and collaborative working. The unit would be of interest to teachers, parents and carers, and can be studied on an individual basis or as part of a school-based training session.
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Introduction

The activities in this unit are designed to support an individual or group of teachers in preparing a school-based training session for colleagues on creativity and information and communications technology (ICT) in the curriculum.

Acknowledgements

This content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 LicenceSee terms and conditions. Users are responsible for adhering to any terms and conditions which may govern use of these sites.

Unit development

This unit has been create
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1.7 Ideology

The notions of a final vocabulary and that of ideology are closely related. Anthony Giddens defined ideology as ‘shared ideas or beliefs which serve to justify the interests of dominant groups’ (Giddens, 2006, p. 1020). There are all sorts of problems with this definition. One difficulty, for example, is that ideas and beliefs, if they have any kind of existence, are hidden away and have to be inferred by what people do and say. Another difficulty surrounds exactly how these things c
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2.3 Railways in Britain
The sudden collapse of Scotland's Tay Bridge in 1879 killed more than 70 rail passengers and shocked the population. An extensive inquiry was carried out, including numerous witnesses, experts and reports. Were the high winds that night to blame, or were poor design or mechanical failure at fault? This unit re-examines some of the original evidence from the Tay Bridge disaster.
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Approaching literature: Reading Great Expectations
This unit considers some of the different ways of reading Great Expectations, based on the type of genre the book belongs to. This is one of the most familiar and fundamental ways of approaching literary texts. The novel broadens the scope of study of a realist novel, in both literary and historical terms. The unit includes extracts from critical writings, which are discussed in detail.
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Play, learning and the brain
This unit examines the area of the brain based learning with a particular focus on the development of the young child's brain and is of particular relevance to those who work with young children. We begin by looking at the structure and functions of the brain, and the impact that sensory deprivation can have on these. We consider the implications of current understandings of brain development for teaching and learning, particularly in an early years setting, and finish by exploring the value of
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6 What next?
This unit examines the area of the brain based learning with a particular focus on the development of the young child's brain and is of particular relevance to those who work with young children. We begin by looking at the structure and functions of the brain, and the impact that sensory deprivation can have on these. We consider the implications of current understandings of brain development for teaching and learning, particularly in an early years setting, and finish by exploring the value of
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Disorders Without Borders
18th Aubrey Lewis Lecture Disorders Without Borders: the expanding scope of psychiatric practice. Are some psychiatric disorders over-diagnosed and over medicated? Are doctors and psychiatrists too ready to diagnose depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or personality disorder for variations in mood or conduct that would once have been considered part of the normal ups and downs of life? And does that have something to do with the fact that for each of these diagnoses, pharmaceut
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Learning From Cases
This site focuses on the use of case writing to support student learning in a Foundations of Learning course for pre-service teachers at the graduate level. It uses a course timeline to organize links that show course materials, the development of one student's case, and student and instructor reflections. The site index also includes an archive of students' cases, as well as a collection of other course materials.
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Acknowledgements
Frightened of the internet? This unit will help you make effective use of the internet, giving you the basic skills required for using web-based resources. Useful tricks and tips are provided as well as information on web browsers, the main features of a browser window, how to look at websites, using hyperlinks, searching for information on the internet, copying text, avoiding computer viruses, and using PDFs.
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