Writing Politicians: A Revision Strategy?

One of the modules we have covered this semester is social psychology. I am going to say straight up that I consider a lot of the things we learn in social psychology steeped in propaganda  and believe that if I was taught the same module in Russia, China or America it would be vastly different. 

I believe it was very subjective in the definitions and conclusions drawn about discrimination and group activities, and as a person who politically finds myself towards the right I feel a degree of skepticism towards some of the course content. But not all of it. 

If you live in Britain and haven’t heard of UKIP’s recent surge of popularity, you must have had your head in the sand, and certainly academia would rather see UKIP packing. I’m told that this is because academics think about things more than the rest of us. So I’ve had a good think and frankly don’t see how merely holding a more nationalist position than most to be justification for the blanket rejection of a political party. Certainly we live in a world which has a lot similar to the 1930’s, and you only need to look at Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus and perhaps soon France to see there’s a trend of European economies becomeing very desperate indeed. We must avoid the results of the 1930’s political situation, but even so, Europe’s political balance desperately needs changing.

So what does this have to do with revision? Simple: I will put the social psychology theory to use and write a letter to the leader of UKIP, explaining the research and academic basis for what cautions ought to be taken to ensure that a more independent britain doesn’t fall to a level of dehumanising views of people of other countries, and still seeks to have superordinate goals, that is, goals to be achieved in common with other nations, which protects from excessive nationalism. 

One of the reasons we come to university is to learn higher order skills. We should be learning to act out of intrinsic motivation, and we should be seeking the betterment of society. One of the duties of being a good citizen is to play an active part in democracy, which takes place through raising your voice. It’s very rich of people to say that organisations such as UKIP are racist, yet has anyone tried to influence them for better? Institutionally they are not racist, however for disenfranchised citizens who are primarily concerned with the challenges in their own lives and the deprivation they face, social psychology theory explains why they might start to foster ill feelings towards other groups. The answer is not to silence their views, but to educate people on how it is not the people that are to blame, but mismanaged systems that can be changed, to protect our nations own interests without needing to have an all-or-nothing fight against other powers. 

The research and the politics need to meet, and I can play my part in that, and strengten my real understanding of social psychology while doing it. Image

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Second Semester So Far

I’ve talked a lot about twitter recently. A lot about twitter and something about George A. Kelly. But what I want to do here is have a brief analysis of what the wiki and the tweeting is doing for my revision. I’ll mainly be considering the wiki.

Lectures are passive, and my present logic is that to benefit the most, I need to write the lecture content up in the wiki in my own words, using the textbook for extra reading. But it’s still a struggle to do that properly.

As far as time goes, I struggle to do things that seem to have no application, and so much of the time I am looking at the content of the lecture slides, reading it up in the book, and then suddenly finding that what I see in the lecture slide is the exact summary I would have written from the book. I don’t grow from just reading the slides, and I waste too much time using the slides, book and wiki together.

The principle of metacognition is thinking about thinking. It’s application to learning is that it is foolish to learn what we already know.

The topics in the slides are really well explained, and if they were my own notes, I would have a great understanding of them.

Well this is how I see it. The slides contain:

  • Simple definitions
  • Explanations
  • Evidence

What I should do first is quickly trawl the slides, produce my own notes, and then use the book for the things I need further information on. It’s time to stop wasting time trailing through the slides followed by the book. And one other thing, if you write an essay or a piece of work on a topic, that is just as good as a revision tool or a set of notes…