AbstractThis in-class group activity is designed for the first day of class in a Criminology course, though it can also be used later as theories of crime are introduced. The goals of the activity are (1) to help students appreciate that the answers to our questions about the causes of crime depend on the questions we ask, (2) to gently introduce the concept of...
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- Class Activity
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- Any Level
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Usage NotesTime required: Approximately one hour if using two types of crime (shoplifting and homicide). Can be made shorter if only one type is used.
Materials needed: Numbered slips of paper with one question per slip (enough for each student to have one slip/question—see below); chalkboard or dry-erase board with at least six writing implements (or...
Learning Goals and Assessments
- Devise an explanation for a presented crime pattern, and apply that explanation to devise crime policies.
- Develop and demonstrate appreciation that explanations of crime depend on how we frame questions about crime.
- Investigate assumptions about human behavior that are embodied within devised explanations of crime.
- Writes down explanation individually, followed by a pair/group comparison of explanations and recording of explanations on the board; group and full-class discussions of relevant policies.
- Full-class comparison of explanations written on the board. Group discussion of how the framing of questions shapes the explanation each group devised.
- Full-class discussion of assumptions about human behavior in each explanation on the board; responses to challenges regarding proper application of explanation to crime policies.