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[SI0141] - Children and Childhood

Module Code: SI0141
Module Leader: Emma Renold
Year: 2
Semester: Both
Number of Credits: 20

Teaching Method: Lectures and seminars. Seminars include group presentations, use of video material, quizzes and discussion.
Assessment: Coursework (essays) 3500 words (50%) - Autumn Semester; Written examination 2 hours (50%) - Spring Semester
Degree Schemes: Education; Social Science; Sociology; BPS Social Science

Module Aims

This course will explore the construction, conceptualisation and status of contemporary ‘childhood’ in the UK from a range of academic disciplines and within a variety of contexts.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Comprehension

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of a range of theoretical perspectives to the study of children and childhood.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of relevant research findings to the study area.
  • Show knowledge of how legislation, policies and practices shape and regulate children’s lives, children’s rights and children’s welfare.

Skills (Application and Analysis)

  • Critically apply relevant research and theory to the study areas.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate and present key areas of study / learning to others, individually and within a group.

Understanding (Synthesis and Evaluation)

  • Adopt a critical understanding to the different theoretical debates that contribute to the study and status of childhood.
  • Adopt a critical perspective to the ways in which gender, sexuality, social class, ethnicity and disability shape childhood and the impact of differentiation, inequality and social exclusion on children’s lives and experience.
  • Critically evaluate how policy and practice relating to children’s rights, children’s lives and children’s welfare impact upon children in a variety of contexts.

Transferable Skills

The module will contribute to the development of the following transferable skills: Group Work; written and verbal communication skills; ICT and presentation skills; critical analysis. Personal attributes: reflexivity, critical skills, creativity.

Synopsis of Module Content

This module invites and provides students with the opportunity to draw upon and integrate a range of interdisciplinary approaches to the construction and representation of ‘children’ and ‘childhood’ in a variety of contexts including: different and competing conceptualisations of childhood; contextual childhoods (within the family, school, and other public spaces); children’s social and cultural worlds children’s rights and citizenship; vulnerable childhoods (child abuse and neglect, child poverty, child workers and carers; ‘looked after’ children; researching children.

Opportunities for Formative Assessment

Opportunities to assess students’ knowledge and understanding arises from group discussions and presentations within seminars.

Arrangements for Feedback on Work

Informal feedback on student presentations is made available to all students throughout the course by both course tutor and by peers.

Indicative Reading

Key Texts

James, A. and James, A. (2004) Constructing Childhood: theory, policy and social practice. Palgrave.

Kehily, M. (2004) An Introduction to Childhood Studies. Open University Press.

Quortrup. J. et al (2009) The Palgrave Handbook of childhood studies: Palgrave.


Indicative Reading

Hallett, C. and Prout, A. (2003) Hearing the voices of children: social policy for a new century. Routledge Falmer.

James,A. and Prout,A. 2nd ed. (1997) Constructing and reconstructing childhood: contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood London: Falmer Press.

James,A., Jenks,C. and Prout,A. (1998) Theorizing Childhood. Oxford: Polity. Kehily, M.J. and Swann, J. (eds.) (2003) Children’s Cultural Worlds. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.

Lee, N. (2001) Childhood and Society: growing up in an age of uncertainty. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Maybin, J. and Woodhead, M. (eds.) (2003) Childhoods in Context. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.

Prout, A. (2005) Future of Childhood, London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Qvortrup,J., Bardy,M., Sgritta,G. and Wintersberger,H. (Eds.) (1994) Childhood Matters: Social Theory, Practice and Politics. Aldershot: Avebury.

Woodhead, M. and Montgomery, H. (eds.) (2003) Understanding Childhood: an interdisciplinary approach. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.