Newest Review: ... questions and tasks to fulfil the new 'How Science Works' component of the Psychology course. The language used is clear and concise wi... more
A good textbook with the bonus of a CD-Rom.
AQA(A) Psychology for AS - Richard Gross
Member Name: HonestBob
AQA(A) Psychology for AS - Richard Gross
Advantages: CD activities can be set as homework just requiring a screen print as evidence
Disadvantages: The CD-Rom misses the opportunity to provide more interactive exercises
The modification of A level specifications for 2008 onwards has brought forth a plethora of re-edited and new textbooks for all subjects. I receive flyers daily from different publishing companies urging me to furnish my students with their textbooks. All of the companies have offered inspection copies, free to teachers prepared to recommend or purchase the textbook for use in their lessons. This publisher went one step further and sent out beautifully packaged copies of the book. Free regardless of recommendation or purchase. How could I resist??!!
The textbook covers all the AS topics on the AQA A Specification and comes with a CD-Rom containing additional material and tasks. It breaks each topic into easily identifiable sections complete with assessment questions and tasks to fulfil the new 'How Science Works' component of the Psychology course. The language used is clear and concise with the necessary use of terminology but not too much of it. I had my students 'eyeball' this book alongside several of the inspection copies of other textbooks that I had ordered, and based on use of colour, pictures, subheadings and text layout this came out top (even before I told them about the CD that comes with it). Ultimately as the core content of all the textbooks is the same the decision basically became one based on aesthetics plus non-paper based 'accessories' such as linkage to websites, CD-Rom and the availability of a teacher resource package containing lesson ideas and additional material.
This textbook is linked to a teacher support CD. I'm working on purchasing this (e-credits funded!). Hopefully I will be able to view that CD on the school network because frankly, it is the pupil CD that lets this format down. The CD requires broadband to run and can only run on one machine at a time. Due to the nature of our school network I cannot install the pupil CD onto my class computer (I've had the school techies try and they tell me it's something innate in the CD which prevents it being accessed from a networked computer), meaning I cannot show its content on my electronic whiteboard or use the CD in school at all (even without the whiteboard on, just as a normal home user would do). At home it runs beautifully, at school it doesn't. It doesn't make the CD content unusable it just means I cannot show the pupils how to access the material, plus I'm relying on them having a computer with broadband access at home and parental permission to install stuff on it.
The content of the CD is also disappointing and basically consists of some 'schemas' (spider-diagram/thought-shower/mindmap/flow chart type things) and interactive cloze (fill-in-the-blanks) exercises. I haven't looked at everything yet, but there doesn't seem to be a great deal on research methods or attachment and I feel a lot more could have been made of this opportunity to provide interactive exercises for visual and kinaesthetic learners.
The textbook is good, but as with all books it should be supported with further reading from other sources, particularly for students hoping to get an A grade. I have found this book to be more easily accessed by C-E predicted graders than the other books I looked at, so I will be providing extension work, including original sources, for my A's and B's (but I'd be doing that with any book).
Summary: Teachers may be able to get this at 50% bulk discount from the publisher
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