Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE EDS1106

 
TITLE Children in Society

 
LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT Education Studies

 
DESCRIPTION This unit provides an introduction to a historical and sociological understanding of children, and of the current social condition of children in society. Starting with an engagement with a history of childhood, the social construction of childhood, and the institutionalisation of learning in childhood, the unit then looks at children across the world today. A comparative perspective is introduced to understand the effect of context on children and their immediate condition. Other topics include children and their families; quality of life, such as the impact of well-being or ill-health on early childhood; cultural life, including 'race', ethnicity, religion and language; gender identities and socialisation; children’s' life-worlds of space, place and time; children and popular culture, and, finally, children rights, will conclude the course.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of the unit is to provide students with a historical sociological foundation for an engagement with the challenges presented by the very different conditions in which children live in today's societies. The engagement with a theoretical and empirical literature will assist them in moving from a common sense knowledge of children to one based on a sophisticated understanding of the meaning of the social in children's lives. It should also help formulate their own concerns about children's lives and social conditions, and enable them to assess which policy solutions are efficacious and effective. Ultimately it should foster a deep concern and affect for young children and their families.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & understanding:
By the end of this study unit, the student will be able to:

• Locate historical changes in the construction of childhood and understand the social and historical processes in childhood education and care;
• Identify key social issues in early childhood related to differences in the condition of children by nation, race, ethnicity, gender , family type, health and or disability and others as may have implications for education and care;
• Understand how children experience their life-world and culture, including the media, and have a good understanding of children's rights and how to support them.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• Locate local and international sources including statistical, documentary, visual and policy sources as well as critically engage with these so as to be able to reach his or her own conclusion regarding the topic under study;
• The student should be able to draw on a theoretical as well as an empirical literature to develop his or her own perspective on the importance of a historical and sociological perspective in understanding children's lives and needs, and use this as a resource to shape educational programmes, including partnerships with families and communities.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Corsaro, W. A. (2005) 2nd Edition, The Sociology of Childhood , Sage, London.
Yelland, N. (2005) (ed.) Critical issues in Early Childhood Education, OUP.
Foley, P. Roche, J. and S. Tucker (2001) Children in Society: Contemporary Theory, Policy and Practice.
Stearns, P. N. (2006) Childhood in World History, New York, Routledge.
Montgomery, H. (2009) An Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological Perspectives on Children’s Lives, West Sussex, Wiley-Blackwell.

Additional material is provided in a Reading Pack.

Set Texts and Recommended Reading
Corsaro, W. A. (2005) 2nd Edition, The Sociology of Childhood , Sage, London.
Stearns, P. N. (2006) Childhood in World History , New York, Routledge.
Montgomery, H. (2009) An Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological Perspectives on Children’s Lives, West Sussex, Wiley-Blackwell.
Foley, P. Roche, J. and S. Tucker (2001) (Eds.) Children in Society: Contemporary Theory, policy and Practice, Basingstoke, Open University Press.
Yelland, N. (2008) (Ed.) Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education, Berkshire, Open University Press.
National Statistics Office (20102) Children, Valletta, NSO.

1. Introduction: Constructing and re-constructing childhood

• Ways of ‘seeing’ children through time/history, biology/archaeology/psychology, culture/anthropology, societies/sociology
• children’s agency

Corsaro, W. A. (2005) Social theories of childhood, in The Sociology of Childhood , Sage, London
Montgomery, H. (2009) An Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological perspectives on children’s lives, West Sussex, Wiley-Blackwell, chapter two ‘What is a child?’

Robb, M. (2001) The changing experience of childhood, in Foley, P. Roche, J. and S. Tucker (Eds) Children in Society Contemporary Theory, policy and Practice, Basingstoke, Open University Press.

Stainton Rogers, W. (2001) Constructing childhood, constructing childhood concerns, in Foley, P. Roche, J. and S. Tucker (Eds) Children in Society Contemporary Theory, policy and Practice, Basingstoke, Open University Press.

Stearns, P. N. (2006) Childhood in World History, New York, Routledge, chapters 1-6.

Prout, A. and A. James (1997) A new paradigm for the sociology of childhood? Provenance, promise and problems, in James, A. and A. Prout (Eds) Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study of Childhood, London, Falmer Press.

2. Global –local family indicators

• global indicators on families and children
• globalisation and policy
• demographic change in families

Qvortrup, Jens (1997) A voice for children in statistical and social accounting: a plea for children’s rights to be heard, in James, A. and A. Prout (Eds) Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study of Childhood, London, Falmer Press.

Corsaro, W. A. (2005) Studying children and childhood, in , The Sociology of Childhood , Sage, London.

Roche, J. (2001) Quality of Life for Children, in Foley, P. Roche, J. and S. Tucker (Eds) Children in Society Contemporary Theory, policy and Practice, Basingstoke, Open University Press.

Clarke, L. (1996) Demographic change and the family situation of children, in Brannen, J. and M. O’Brien (Eds) Children in families: research and policy, London, Falmer Press.

OECD (2009) Doing Better for Children, chapter 2 Comparative Child Well-being across the OECD.

3. Children and families

• from medieval family to modern family
• children’s experiences of family life, family ties and family time
• kinship/parenting from children’s perspective
• health care at home, domestic violence and child abuse

Corsaro, W. A. (2005) Social change, families and children, and Children, Social Problems and the family, in The Sociology of Childhood, Sage, London.

Montgomery, H. (2009) An Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological perspectives on children’s lives, West Sussex, Wiley-Blackwell, chapter 4, Family, friends and peers.

O’Brien, M, Alldred, P. and D. Jones (1996) Children’s constructions of family and kinship, in Brannen, J. and M. O’Brien (Eds) Children in families: research and policy, London, Falmer Press.

Braun, D. (2001) Perspectives on Parenting, , in Foley, P. Roche, J. and S. Tucker (Eds) Children in Society Contemporary Theory, policy and Practice, Basingstoke, Open University Press.

Stearns, P. N. (2006) Childhood in World History, New York, Routledge, chapters 1-6.

Smart, C. (2000) Divorce and changing family practices in a post-traditional society, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Family Matters, no 56, Winter 2000, pp. 10-19.

Smart, C. (2006) Children’s narratives of post-divorce family life: from individual experience to an ethical disposition, The Sociological Review pp. 155-169.

Tubbs, C., Roy, K, and L. Burton (2005) Family ties: constructing family time in low-income families, Family Process, vol 44, no 1, pp 77-91.

4. Children and poverty

• economic circumstance in ten countries, including health and well-being, social class
• children’s work (street children, ‘helping out’ in take aways )
• health care at school

Corsaro, W. A. (2005) Children, social problems and society in , The Sociology of Childhood , Sage, London.

Penn, H. (2005) Unequal childhoods: young children’s lives in poor countries, Routledge, Oxford, chapters 1, 2, and 3 (Global inequalities, interpreting poverty, understanding early childhood).

Kennedy, S. P. Whiteford and J. Bradshaw (1996) The economic circumstances of children in ten countries, in Brannen, J. and M. O’Brien (Eds) Children in Families: Research and Policy, London, Falmer Press.

Glauser, B. (1997) Street children: deconstructing a construct, in James, A. and A. Prout (Eds) Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study of Childhood, London, Falmer Press.

Jenkins, S. P. , Schluter, C. and G.G. Wagner (2003) The dynamics of child poverty: Britain and Germany compared, Journal of Comparative Family Studies.

5. Children’s life-world and cultures

• play and pastimes of the past/across cultures
• digikids
• Disneyland and re-representation
• disrupting multicultural pretend play props

Corsaro, W. A. (2005) Part Three Children’s cultures, in , The Sociology of Childhood , Sage, London.

Montgomery, H. (2009) An Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological perspectives on children’s lives, West Sussex, Wiley-Blackwell, chapter 5, Talking, playing, working.

Campbell, S. (2008) Secret children’s business: resisting and redefining access to learning in the early childhood classroom, in Yelland, N. (Ed) Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education, Berkshire, Open University Press.

Marsh, J. (2008) Digikids: young children, popular culture and media, in Yelland, N. (2008) (Ed.) Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education, Berkshire, Open University Press.

Hunt, P. and R. Frankenburg (1997) It’s a small world: Disneyland, the family and multiple re-representations of American childhood, in James, A. and A. Prout (Eds) Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study of Childhood, London, Falmer Press.

Johnson, R. ( 2008) ‘Civilization of replicas’: disrupting multicultural pretend play props, in Yelland, N. (2008) (Ed.) Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education, Berkshire, Open University Press.

Ashiabi, G. S. (2007) Play in the preschool classroom: its socio-emotional significance and the teacher’s role in play, Early Childhood Education Journal, vol. 35, no.2 pp 199-207.

Freeman, N. K. (2007) Preschoolers’ perceptions of gender appropriate toys and their parents’ beliefs about genderized behaviours: miscommunication, mixed messages or hidden truths? Early Childhood Education Journal , vol. 34, no 5, pp 357-366.

6. Children, identity and justice

Gender, ‘race’, ability and disability, sexuality/sex abuse

• racism and ethnic minority children
• cultural diversity and early years ideology
• productive diversities, inclusion and learning in early years
• meeting special needs
• sexual abuse and children’s sexuality

Owusu-Bempah, K. (2001) Racism: an important factor in practice with ethnic minority children and families, in Foley, P. Roche, J. and S. Tucker (2001) (Eds.) Children in Society: Contemporary Theory, policy and Practice, Basingstoke, Open University Press.

Marchant, R. (2001) Working with disabled children, in Foley, P. Roche, J. and S. Tucker (2001) (Eds.) Children in Society: Contemporary Theory, policy and Practice, Basingstoke, Open University Press.

Brooker, L. (2008) Learning to be a child, in Yelland, N. (2008) (Ed.) Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education, Berkshire, Open University Press.

Rhedding-Jones, J. (2008) Questioning diversity, in Yelland, N. (2008) (Ed.) Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education, Berkshire, Open University Press.

Kitzinger, J. (1997) Who are you kidding? Children, power and the struggle against sexual abuse, in James, A. and A. Prout (Eds) Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study of Childhood, London, Falmer Press.

7. Children, care and schools

• histories of schooling
• portrayals of teachers
• working in multidisciplinary teams

Stearns, P. N. (2006) Childhood in World History , chapter 6, Forces of change and the modern model of childhood, New York, Routledge.

Hendrick, H. (1997) Constructions and reconstructions of British childhood: an interpretative survey, 1800 to the present, in James, A. and A. Prout (Eds) Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study of Childhood, London, Falmer Press.

Sumison, J. (2008) Preschool children’s portrayals of their male teacher: a poststructuralist analysis, in
Yelland, N. (2008) (Ed.) Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education, Berkshire, Open University Press.

Moyles, J. (2001) Passion, paradox and professionalism in Early Years Education, Early Years, vol. 21. no. 2, pp 81-95.

8. Children’s rights

• listening to young children
• teachers potential to make a difference
• universal and particular rights

Ruxton, S. (2001) Towards a ‘Children’s Policy’ for the European Union?, in Foley, P. Roche, J. and S. Tucker (2001) (Eds.) Children in Society: Contemporary Theory, policy and Practice, Basingstoke, Open University Press.

Thomas, N. (2001) Listening to children, in Foley, P. Roche, J. and S. Tucker (2001) (Eds.) Children in Society: Contemporary Theory, policy and Practice, Basingstoke, Open University Press.

Yelland, N. and A. Kilderry, (2008) Postmodernism, passion and potential for future childhoods, in Yelland, N. (2008) (Ed.) Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education, Berkshire, Open University Press.

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

 
LECTURER/S Mary Darmanin
Victor Martinelli
Michelle Panzavecchia
Milosh Raykov (Co-ord.)

 
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It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

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