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ERIC Number: ED138512
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Introductory Sociology: Paradigms, Methodologies, and Interactive Computing.
Kervin, John B.; Gates, Albert S.
The paper describes a computer-based project designed to help college instructors teach introductory sociology. The project combines a variety of orientations to expose students to basic sociological concepts, classic theories, and the breadth of the discipline. Two traditional methods of teaching sociology include relying on different instructors or selecting readings which reflect the various orientations of sociologists. Disadvantages of these approaches concern availability of sufficient instructors and stress of substantive readings at the expense of formal methodology. As a result of the tendency to ignore the "doing" of sociology, students are often badly prepared for research projects. Advantages of simulations in overcoming these problems are ability to compress a long project into one or two hours, schedule students, help instructors with unfamiliar methodologies, self-pacing, and student reinforcement. Two requirements for setting up the project are: (1) identification of significant subdivisions with a subjective, or interpretive, orientation, and those with an objective, or substantive orientation; and (2) creation of computer programs that simulate research activities in these areas. Four programs, which focus on surveying, participant observation, documentation, interviewing, and data analysis, are described. A sample interactive simulation is presented in the appendix. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (New York, New York, August 30-September 3, 1976)