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Further reading

Styles, E.A. (1997) The Psychology of Attention, Hove, Psychology Press. A very readable textbook, which covers and extends the topics introduced in this unit.

Pashler, H. (ed.) (1998) Attention, Hove, Psychology Press. An edited book, with contributors from North America and the UK. Topics are dealt with in rather more depth than in the Styles book.


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1.1 Introduction

To cover some of the concept of attention (we have only a unit, and there are whole books on the subject) I shall follow an approximately historical sequence, showing how generations of psychologists have tackled the issues and gradually refined and developed their theories. You will discover that initially there seemed to them to be only one role for attention, but that gradually it has been implicated in an ever-widening range of mental processes. As we work through the subject, two basic i
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Introduction

For many of us the concept of attention may have rather negative connotations. At school we were told to pay attention, making us all too aware that it was not possible to listen to the teacher while at the same time being lost in more interesting thoughts. Neither does it seem possible to listen effectively to two different things at the same time. How many parents with young children would love to be able to do that! One could be excused for feeling that evolution has let us down by failing
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2.6 Environmental explanations of dyslexia?

‘Environment’ is often used to refer to only social or non-biological influences. However, it actually also refers to the biological, cognitive and behavioural environments that we may be exposed to. If you refer back to Frith's framework (see Figure 2) you will remember that the environment can be h
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1.1 Introduction

You may have noticed that we often discuss people with the assumption that there is a ‘normal’ pattern of behaviour, which some people do not conform to, while the rest do. This idea of ‘normality’ is implicitly subscribed to in many areas of psychology. We theorise about ‘normal development’, ‘normal memory functioning’, ‘typical perceptual experiences’, ‘gender appropriate behaviour’, and refer more explicitly to examples of unusual psychological functioning as being
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3 A brief look at psychological methods

We have looked briefly at the kinds of data that psychologists use as the basis for their evidence and we now offer an overview of the methods used to collect these data. Learning about methods is a skill necessary to building up psychological knowledge and moving beyond the base of common-sense knowledge about people that we all use. This section will outline the fundamentals of research procedures and provide you with a terminology – the beginnings of a research language that will
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1.3 Psychology has social impact

The relevance of psychology to everyday concerns, and the ease with which it can be popularised and used, mean that psychological knowledge – some of it dubious, some of it accurate – is continually absorbed into culture and often incorporated into the very language we use. Examples of psychological concepts that have entered popular discourse include the notion that we are predisposed, both through evolution and through the functioning of our brains and nervous systems, to behave in cert
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3 Using the Menu

Activity 2

0 hours 20 minutes

This activity follows the previous one by opening with a window showing the Trends 14 data file. You are encouraged to explore the menus by using the SPSS software. E
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2.5 Governors' meetings

Most of the work of the governing body is carried out in meetings, and it is important that these are organised and conducted efficiently to ensure that governors feel that their time has been well spent. Agendas for meetings should have a strong educational focus within the detail of matters discussed; the governing body should essentially focus on the quality and delivery of education provided by the school, and not on daily management. There is a tendency for governing body meetings to be
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2.4 Clerk

The governing body must appoint a Clerk, who should not be a member of the governing body. It is also advisable not to use a member of staff, if possible, to avoid any potential conflict of interest. While some governing bodies use their Clerk solely as a minute taker, the prime function of the Clerk is to convene meetings and perform all the administrative tasks required. Good clerking requires specialist skills, and the governing body will probably want to reflect this in an adequate level
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2.3 Vice-chair

The Vice-chair, often seen merely as a stand-in for the Chair, can play a useful role as a mentor for new governors. S/he might also chair those committees that deal with the more sensitive issues relating to complaints, or pupil or staff discipline, where the Chair may not be able to take part, owing to prior knowledge from previous discussion with the headteacher.


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5.4.3 How to evaluate accessibility

Accessibility guidelines and checklists can be used to evaluate a design or prototype. Despite the difficulties associated with the use of guidelines, they can be a useful tool for getting general insight into the accessibility of a website or system. As we discussed earlier, the main limitation of the use of guidelines or checklists is the fact that background knowledge of disability and assistive technology is required in order to effectively interpret and apply such guidelines.

Once
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5.2.2 Key accessibility principles

Below are listed 10 principles for accessibility. These principles underpin many of the sets of accessibility guidelines available, which are referred to in ‘Design guidelines and their limitations’.

1. Keyboard operation: the ability to operate applications fully via the keyboard.

This means supporting the standard keyboard shortcuts available for the operating system, such as Alt+F4 to close a wi
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3.13.3 Dyslexia

British Dyslexia Association, ‘What is dyslexia?’, http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/whatisdyslexia.html (no longer accessible)

British Dyslexia Association, ‘Study skills’, http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/studyskills.html (no longer accessible)


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3.10.2 Other impairments

There are people with a wide range of other impairments that are not covered by the above groups, but which may affect study. Some examples are listed below.

  • People with diabetes may have reduced sensitivity in their hands.

  • People with many different conditions may experience severe pain, which makes it difficult for them to concentrate on a task.

  • People with mental illness may have a range of difficulties, including
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3.8.1 Use of computers by physically impaired people

As described above, people may have a wide range of physical impairments, which differ in terms of the extent to which they impair computer use, indeed they may only need suitable furniture. The assistive technology used depends on the person's specific disability.

People who have limited use of their hands or arms, or have reduced control of fine movements, may use a variety of input devices that suit their specific requirements, such as adapted keyboards, mice, trackballs and joystick
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3.1 What the review is about

‘The performance review process enables me to have a meaningful discussion about issues at the heart of the improvement of the school, with governors who support me yet make me stop and think about why I do what I do and, more importantly, how I might do my job better.’

Quote from headteacher

The review of the headteacher's performance is one of the most important tasks for the governing bo
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Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

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