Ch 2: Theories of Crime: Intro to Criminal Justice Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Theories of Crime Intro to Criminal Justice chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the basic crime theories in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Theories of Crime Intro to Criminal Justice chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Classical School of Criminology and rational choice theory Contemporary influences of the Classical School; hedonistic calculus
Tuesday Crime control/due process model and Positivist School of Criminology Due process and crime control models of criminology; Positivist versions: biological, psychological and sociological
Wednesday Biological crime theories and individual trait theory Changes brought about with the advent of DNA testing; personality traits, nature and nurture
Thursday Psychological and sociological theories of crime; social disorganization theory Psychological development, learned behaviors, inherent personality traits, mental illness, societal influences and the Chicago School of Criminology
Friday Labeling, social control and social learning crime theories Primary vs. secondary deviance, stigma, restrospective/projective labeling, differential association and differential reinforcement

13 Lessons in Chapter 2: Theories of Crime: Intro to Criminal Justice Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Classical School of Criminology & Its Influence Today

1. The Classical School of Criminology & Its Influence Today

Our judicial system is complex, and it's based on principles of crime and punishment that have been around for centuries. In this lesson, we'll explore the classical school of criminology and the five basic tenets of that form, which are its cornerstone.

The Rational Choice Theory of Criminology

2. The Rational Choice Theory of Criminology

Many people weigh pros and cons when they have to make a big decision. But is the same true for people trying to decide whether to commit a crime? Watch this lesson for more on the rational choice theory of crime and hedonistic calculus.

The Crime Control & Due Process Models of Criminology

3. The Crime Control & Due Process Models of Criminology

Is one person as important as society as a whole? In the study of crime, that is a major debate. In this lesson, we'll examine the different sides of the debate, the crime control and due process models, and how they fit into the justice system.

The Positivist School of Criminology

4. The Positivist School of Criminology

Are people who commit crimes fundamentally different from law-abiding citizens? In this lesson, we'll examine the positivist school of criminology, which tries to answer that question by examining the ways in which criminals and non-criminals are different.

Biological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

5. Biological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

Why do some people commit crimes, while others obey the law their whole lives? In this lesson, we'll examine one theory, the biological theory of criminology, including evidence supporting it and some of the shortcomings of the theory.

Individual Trait Theory of Criminology: Factors & Biases

6. Individual Trait Theory of Criminology: Factors & Biases

Ever wonder what makes a criminal mind different from yours? In this lesson, we'll delve into the individual trait theory of criminology, which tries to explain and treat criminal behavior based on personality traits.

Psychological Theories of Crime: Assumptions & Weaknesses

7. Psychological Theories of Crime: Assumptions & Weaknesses

What makes you or me different from a criminal offender? Watch this lesson to find out more about the psychology behind crime, including the four basic aspects of psychological theories of crime and some common criticisms of them.

Sociological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

8. Sociological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

Why do crime rates vary from community to community? In this lesson, we'll take a look at sociological theories of criminology, including the social learning and social conflict theories and sociological programs to prevent crime.

The Chicago School's Social Disorganization Theory

9. The Chicago School's Social Disorganization Theory

Why do some neighborhoods have higher crime rates than others? What elements make a community vulnerable to crime? Watch this lesson to find out about the Chicago School of Criminology and the social disorganization theory of crime.

Labeling Theory and Crime: Stigma & Retrospective and Projective Labeling

10. Labeling Theory and Crime: Stigma & Retrospective and Projective Labeling

Labeling others is common in our society. In this lesson, we discuss the specifics of labeling theory, including when and why people are labeled. We also distinguish between retroactive and projective labeling and briefly discuss Travis Hirschi's control theory.

The Social Control Theory of Criminology: Origins & Development

11. The Social Control Theory of Criminology: Origins & Development

When studying crime, many people ask questions about what causes criminals to commit crimes. But some people instead ask why people stay within the bounds of the law. In this lesson, we'll examine the social control theories of criminology.

Differential Association Theory: Definition & Examples

12. Differential Association Theory: Definition & Examples

Learn what constitutes differential association theory in this lesson. Examine the definition in detail, including the basic tenets of the theory. In addition, review several examples of the theory.

The Social Learning Theory of Crime

13. The Social Learning Theory of Crime

How much do your friends influence your behavior? In this lesson, we'll examine the social learning theory of criminology, including the ideas of differential association and differential reinforcement, and when the tenets of social learning theory are most likely to happen.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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