Joining the BPS
Previously I have blogged about BPS resources, postings and publications and the benefit of joining the society for A Level students, especially those considering further study of Psychology. Recently, however, I discovered what I assume is a recent change to the membership eligibility criteria. A Level students cannot join as “Student Members”, as I have stated in previous posts, as this level of membership is only for those studying an appropriate undergraduate level course.
A Level students = subscribers
I checked this with the BPS and was advised that A Level students can join as “subscribers” or “e-subscribers“, as they have an interest in Psychology but lack the relevant qualifications needed for any higher level of membership. E-subscribers (only £10 per year) get an electronic version of The Psychologist magazine which can be a source of enrichment and enlightenment for those students keen to glimpse into the world of Psychology beyond the confines of A Level.
This level of membership has the added benefit of being open to teachers of Psychology that would not be eligible for Graduate Membership (or a higher level of membership) but are keen to represent Psychology in a way that is consistent with the aims of the society.
“BPS News” in the classroom
Whilst I’m blogging about the BPS I might as well mention a useful post on the website summarising research suggesting that some children may “grow out of autism” a claim that has unsupisingly received a lot of media attention. The post (“Can some children ‘grow out of’ autism?” posted 18/01/2013) is an accessibe summary, including commentary (useful for demonstrating “discussion of research” without needing exam materials) from Psychologists. Whether this is part of your exam spec or not, I think it’s worth using this as the basis for a brain stretching starter or plenary. Ask students what controls and design features they would hope were in place in this study in order to draw any firm conclusions about any possible temporary element to autism.
It doesn’t matter whether you can access any more information about the research than is provided in the BPS summary. The intended outcome of this sort of activity is for students to have an opportunity to draw on their knowledge of research methods and the reliability and validity of research studies (analysis and application) and apply it to a novel context and as such the specific details of this research may be interesting but are not necessary.