Attachment: Timely topical revision

A revision stimulus for AS Attachments (Unit 1)

A couple of days ago (at time of writing) @TimesEducation tweeted a post that would make a great stimulus for some broad revision of the AS (AQA spec A) topic of Attachment.

@TimesEducation: “End of the road for childhood” as nurseries open all hours”.

Is this the future of day care?

Is this the future of day care?

After Easter I plan to simply display this tweet and invite students to speculate about the content of arguments in the article it refers to. With access to the full article I could display it and ask students to annotate the piece with their knowledge; backing up or refuting the content and suggestions made in the piece will give ample opportunities to find, use and refile their learning. There’s lots of scope to consider bias in the way the article is written and whether research has been reflected accurately and in a way that shows that research is tentative not 100% conclusive (How Science Works). The link in the blog post only gives the opening paragraph (a subscription is required) but even this has enough to get a reflective discussion going.

Some ideas for the classroom

Here are a few suggestions of how this article might be best used in the AS Psychology classroom:

  1. The first line of the article suggests that longer hours for nurseries may “risk insitutionalising young children”; a bold claim with much scope for a two sided class or small group debate.
  2. Put students in pairs – where one is the journalist and one the “expert” – and ask the journalist to imagine the article has not been written yet and they want to interview an expert as research for writing the article. A fictional section of the article, drawing on research into attachments, disruption and day care could then be written by the pair collaboratively.
  3. Ask students to write a comment (in the style of those posted in response to news articles online) about the content of the article given their knowledge of research in this area.
  4. Students could give advice to nurseries planning to open for long hours about how best to avoid institutionalisation and promote attachment and social development.

It is important that students do not start to mix up institutional care and day care; a carefully managed discussion and consideration of how and why the article is using the term “institutionalisation” should help prevent this.

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