Sleep and Dreaming
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Delivery guides are designed to represent a body of knowledge about teaching a particular topic and contain:
- Content: A clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide;
- Thinking Conceptually: Expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties students may have, approaches to teaching that can help students understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject;
- Thinking Contextually: A range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected which best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
The primary focus of the Sleeping and Dreaming topic is to enable learners to develop and understand the role of sleep and explanations of dreaming and sleep disorders. Subtopic one of this delivery guide focusses on the benefits of sleep, stages in the sleep cycle and the role of endogenous pacemakers and exogenous zeitgebers in sleep, including melatonin and the role of the pineal gland.
Subtopic two and three explore the Freudian and Activation Synthesis Theory of dreaming. Synoptic links are made by considering criticisms of the theory including subjectivity and the Reductionism/Holism debate.
Subtopic four focusses on neuropsychology exploring the function and actions of the brain during sleep.
The final subtopic’s primary focus is on application. In particular, how sleep hygiene can be improved through relaxation techniques and changes in the physical environment. The impact of neurological damage on the hypothalamus is also considered.
Common misconceptions or difficulties learners may have:
Endogenous pacemakers and exogenous zeitgebers may be confused. Learners may find the role of the pineal gland and melatonin in sleep challenging. Using visual aids could help learners to understand and remember them.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set learners up for topics later in the course:
The brain and neuropsychology is assessed throughout the whole specification. Subtopic four focuses on exploring the function and actions of the brain during sleep.
This subtopic provides a good opportunity to embed research methods. The correlational method could be used to investigate the functions and benefits of sleep using different co-variables This is useful for studies and applications in psychology component 1, Section D. There is also the potential for links to drawing and interpreting scatter diagrams.
Link to research methods. There is an opportunity here to carry out correlational research. Learners could correlate hours of sleep with general health to investigate and explore the benefits of sleep.
This could be written up as a practical activity and learners could gain experience of drawing and interpreting scatter diagrams.
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