Availabilities:

Location Domestic International
Online Session 1 N/A

Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Advanced

Former School/College

Former School of Education

Unit aim

Provides an understanding of childhood in its historical context and explores theoretical perspectives influencing conceptualisations of children and childhood, including the way these have changed over time and continue to vary between different social and cultural groups. Discusses ways in which these conceptions influence policy, practice and decision making by parents, professionals, government and the public are explored via case-studies drawn from contexts including education, family, social welfare, law, health, commerce, media and popular culture.

Unit content

1. Frameworks for describing and analysing children and childhood
Psychological, anthropological and sociological theories about childhood
Introduction to the social construction of childhood and the changing conceptions of children over time
Critically reflecting on your personal construction of childhood

2. Historical constructions of childhood
Western historical images
Indigenous historical images
The influence of the historical on the contemporary

3. Contemporary constructions of childhood
Contemporary images of childhood Images of difference
Contemporary contexts (e.g. education, family, social welfare, law, media and popular culture, commerce)

4. Implications for professional practice with children
Recognising the varied childhoods experienced by children in the minority and majority worlds
Working ethically with children and young people
Facilitating children's agency and participation respectfully
Applying theoretical principles to best practice

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 critically evaluate several theoretical perspectives influencing the conceptualisation of children and childhood, both historically and currently, and the social and cultural influences on them
2 discuss the socially constructed nature of childhood and critically reflect on their personal construction of childhood
3 evaluate how the assumptions and principles underpinning different theoretical approaches impact on current understandings about children and youth, and our contemporary approaches to practice and policy in such contexts as education, family, social welfare, law, health, commerce, media and popular culture
4 investigate how conceptual understandings of childhood inform cultural or professional groups to interact with children.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. critically evaluate several theoretical perspectives influencing the conceptualisation of children and childhood, both historically and currently, and the social and cultural influences on them
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
    • GA7:
  2. discuss the socially constructed nature of childhood and critically reflect on their personal construction of childhood
    • GA1:
    • GA7:
  3. evaluate how the assumptions and principles underpinning different theoretical approaches impact on current understandings about children and youth, and our contemporary approaches to practice and policy in such contexts as education, family, social welfare, law, health, commerce, media and popular culture
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  4. investigate how conceptual understandings of childhood inform cultural or professional groups to interact with children.
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
    • GA7:

Prescribed texts

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.