ERIC Number: ED173247
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Sep-8
Reference Count: 0
Sociology: Scholarly Discipline or Profession?
Wilson, Everett K.
Because the criteria, procedures, and goals of both the discipline (research) and the profession (teaching) of sociology are similar, the teaching of sociology may be vastly improved by exploiting the discipline in which sociologists are trained. First, the extension of reliable knowledge about societal issues is a criterion of both teaching and research. Also, the process of both discipline and profession should be inquiry; good questions in the classroom and in research result in a search for multiple conditions and causes and stimulate the process of inquiry. Finally, the goals of the discipline and the profession are both the transmission and the discovery of knowledge. Thus, in order to realize the potential for superlative instruction through the application of training as researchers, a radical revision of the teaching of sociology is required. The aim of a course, like that of research, would be to pursue a question that would entail both theory and methods. The course problem would be highlighted in the syllabus and students would register for a course in which they found the question compelling. Student inquiry would deal with methods: indicators, validity, reliability, and measurement. After assembling results, students would then consider extensions and applications of their findings. Publication of these findings would represent the culmination of the course and would reveal the department's record for that semester. (Author/KC)
Descriptors: Course Organization, Educational Innovation, Educational Practices, Higher Education, Inquiry, Intellectual Disciplines, Relevance (Education), Research Methodology, Sociology, Speeches, Teacher Effectiveness, Teaching Methods
Department of Sociology, 168 Hamilton Hall, 070 A, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514 ($1.00)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented as a statement introducing meetings of the Section on Undergraduate Education of the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Chicago, Illinois, September 8, 1977)