Activation Synthesis Theory of 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;
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The Activation Synthesis Theory of Dreaming:
- the role of REM sleep
- criticisms of the theory including the Reductionism/Holism debate.
The Activation Synthesis Theory of Dreaming Research Study Differences in actions and functions of the brain when dreaming and when awake – Williams et al. (1992): study into Bizarreness in Dreams and Fantasies: Implications for the Activation Synthesis Hypothesis.
The primary focus of this subtopic is to explore the neurobiological explanation of dreaming through the Activation Synthesis Theory and the role of REM sleep. Synoptic links are made with other areas of the specification through the Reductionism/Holism debate.
Common misconceptions or difficulties learners may have:
Neurobiology can be complex to understand and so clear teacher led descriptions may be necessary to initiate learning. The activities suggested here are designed to reinforce learning; enabling learners to consolidate their understanding.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set learners up for topics later in the course:
Criticisms of the theory provides a link to debates (Reductionism /Holism) offering the opportunity of synoptic assessment with other areas of the specification. Williams et al. (1992) provides an opportunity to explore problems with the self-report method making connections with research methods.
Poster – learners produce a poster of the characteristics of REM and the role of REM Sleep.
This could be the final product from an independent research activity as a way of assessing knowledge after teacher delivery.
Group presentation. Divide learners into small groups and each member of the group researches one area of the key research study. They then put what they have learned together as a group and present it to the class.
Presentations can take a variety of forms: role play, PowerPoint, poster, etc... Each group could be given a different method of presentation to add variety.
Alternatively, in small groups each group takes on a section of the key research study and summarises it onto a poster. Posters can then be displayed around the classroom walls like a gallery and learners take it in turns walking round making notes as they go.
Differentiation can be achieved by allocating the more complex parts of the study to the more able learners.
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