The BBC Prison Study


Did you struggle teaching the BBC Prison Study?

I did and was annoyed at myself because I knew it was a good addition to the core studies and I believed that my enthusiasm for this new study, and in particular Reicher and Haslam’s critique of the flawed Stanford Prison Experiment, would reach my students.

However, I probably spent far too much time reviewing the SPE with my students and did not teach the BBC study in its chronological order and am sure that I lost most of my students on what should have been a fantastic journey.

Thankfully the authors of the study have collaborated with and produced an excellent DVD which takes students through the important stages of their experiment.

This is easily the best DVD that have produced so far, in terms of editing, animation and use of original footage.

More importantly though is the performance of Alex Haslam and Steve Reicher who take the viewer (student) through an easy to understand and enthusiastic step-by-step description of their study from the context and setting up of their study, detailing their interventions and finally to their conclusions of their findings in just over 27 minutes.

I will be using the DVD as a revision lesson for my students this year and because of this DVD will do a much better job of teaching this fab study next year.

The DVD also includes extra bits where Alex and Steve again talk lucidly about social identity theory, ethics, data and the SPE.

I have a spare copy to give away to the best comment left on this post. Jamie will judge this.

Oh and if you are a teacher and attending the 2009 ATP conference Professor Alex Haslam will be there delivering a keynote talk.

The DVD can be bought from onlineclassroom for just 48 quid – A bargain I think.


6 Responses to “The BBC Prison Study”

  1. cayleigh galloway February 26, 2009 at 12:34 am #

    i dont know what uri is?

    but, mark and jamie are the best :D

  2. Campori March 1, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    very interesting site u have there. Keep up the good work :)

  3. Tom March 2, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    I taught this very badly too, so much detail to go into. I always learn from my mistakes though and next year I will teach it much better! One thing which helped my students a lot though is this timeline from the bbc prison study website. Check it out

  4. April March 8, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    I really enjoyed teaching this on the new edexcel spec. It was disappointing for my students that there were no really good clips on you tube unlike most of the other parts of social influence
    We had to make do with 3 very short trailers. I have used video so much more this year – YouTube has some great stuff – I think the best videos are those with no explanation the students really enjoy doing that bit themselves. If I have the luxury of an explanation I always pause before it to get the students thinking “why” on their mini white boards then we can watch the psychologists explanation this makes them immediately critical building their evaluative skills

  5. Joseph March 17, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    I just checked the preview and looks interesting. I think I’m gonna buy the DVD. I already have a video related to this research, I can only hope that it is not the same.

  6. pratista gurung April 8, 2009 at 4:07 am #

    i am a psychology A level student from nepal
    and hearing of this dvd that has helped you is remarkable
    we dont have those resources here as A levels is still a new area of education here. yes we are limited to theorical studying styles which makes psychology difficult for us in nepal.

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