Wednesday, 7 November 2012
From the Theoretical to Empirical using SOLO Hot Maps
Of course this initial focus on theory and a rich source image played completely to their strengths which is, after all, the importance of a good connection phase activity. It also served as a very useful revision activity in this their first lesson of the new half term. The struggle was to keep them focused on following the 'telescoping' process and not immediately beginning their feedback by jumping straight into their relational responses; I felt it vital that they considered the individual details, not just the big picture, if they were to be able to make sense of the data sets that were to follow.
The rest of the lesson involved the students being given other charts and graphs in small groups in order to explore in more depth the facts behind patterns in marriage, divorce, cohabitation, same-sex relationships and lone person households. The confidence they had gained in using both theoretical and empirical data during the first activity using the SOLO Hot Maps was carried with them into a pure data analysis task and we will square the circle on Friday when we add to their analyses of these new data sets with the theoretical information that attempts to explain the reasons for the patterns they have identified. For now I am simply happy that the students have managed to connect the poetry and the prose of sociological enquiry.