Review: Classic Studies in Psychology 1 (DVD)


All those lucky teachers out there now have another fantastic resource to help in their teaching of psychology. Classic Studies in Psychology is brought to us by Dr. Steve Taylor. The Short Cuts packages consist of a number of short video clips designed to give teachers the flexibility to integrate illustrative video material into their lessons in whatever way they choose. This isn’t just any DVD though – there’s much more than something to watch here:

  • Original footage of experiments in action
  • Suggested lesson plans
  • Worksheet materials
  • Classroom activities
  • Further reference materials

Once again I’ve been lucky enough to get my grubby little mits on a copy so I can let you all know my thoughts on it, and if my words not enough you can pop along to the website and see some clips from the DVD yourself. As I mentioned earlier this isn’t just a DVD – yet there are some super video clips with excellent commentary (most of it’s related to the OCR specifications too) but also there’s activities, lesson plans and PowerPoints to use or take inspiration from.

It’s not all in the length! This DVD has got it right…
… we have loads of DVD’s and videos that we use for teaching – some of which are over an hour long – sometimes I don’t want to loose an entire lesson to a video, no matter how much use it may be. This ‘short cuts’ DVD hits the spot with shorter clips (less than ten minutes each) containing everything you need to empahsise the point and to appeal to those visual learners you have. The clips are long enough so as to get all the information that you need in, but short enough to use within a lesson.

What’s inside the box then I hear you say …
… This (first in the series) DVD contains 5 studies. Each study has the DVD clip but also teaching resources which are excellent and aimed at the right level for As students. Even if you don’t want to use the activities you can take inspiration from them. The studies on this DVD are:

  • The Strange Situation: Footage of procedure in action – see secure and insecure attachment with commentary from leading developmental psychologist Liz Meins
  • Bandura on Social Learning: Reconstruction of Bandura’s Bobo doll experiment in a contemporary setting
  • Elizabeth Loftus on Eyewitness Testimony: Traffic accidents & clear analysis of Loftus’ findings
  • Milgram’s Experiments on Obedience: Original footage from the Holocaust and includes Stanley Milgram’s study
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment: Including original footage from the Stanford Prison Experiment and reflections from Zimbardo

The scoop from Steve Taylor himself …

“The idea for the Short Cuts format really came from teachers. They were telling us that more and more they were now just playing various clips from our videos. This was partly because of increased demands for multi method teaching in lessons and partly because of diminishing attention spans of their students! So we thought why don’t we it for them. Making teachers’ lives easier was the theme behind this project.

Nearly all schools are now using DVD and this meant that we could include the short videos and learning materials in the one package. The short videos help to bring some of these classic studies to life by illustrating their context, content and consequences for psychology. This raises questions which can then be followed up in classroom discussion and activities. One of the first rules of good educational video is use the medium to illustrate and enliven but don’t try and do the teacher’s job for them.

So far so good. Classic Studies has only been out a month but we’ve been amazed at how well it’s selling. Obviously we’re delighted, and given some of the costs involved in this project ($25 to buy one second of Milgram) also very relieved. We’re planning some more Short Cuts for next school year – a second Classic Studies, one on Issues & Debates and something on the new specs for Spring 08.

We’d love some feedback from teachers. If you’ve any comments on Classic Studies, ideas for new programmes, if you’d like to be involved in developing a video or if you’d like us to come and film in your school/college, then please get in touch. Call Onlineclassroom on 0116-2221119 or email”

With some educational DVD’s costing over £150 for a single study or area you can’t beat the price of £50 for all 5 clips. Not only that you’re getting all of the added resources, lesson plans and PowerPoints. An excellent resource that I will be making good use of next year. A resource that will get used again-and-again.

For more information or to buy go to

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