Contemporary Debates 1: Childhood and Society

Module code: X3228
Level 4
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

Explore experiences and knowledge of childhood and youth theory, policy and practice at a historical, social and cultural interface, and discover ways in which our experiences and knowledge of childhood change over time.

You study historical views of children and young people and of childhood. This includes a historical overview of the 'invention' of childhood, its representation in art and literature in the UK and globally, and its emergence as a field of academic study.

You explore developing constructions of childhood, in historical perspective and consider how such theories have historically and contemporaneously influenced and shaped the development of childhood and youth policy and practice and so have shaped children's lives. Examples of policy and practice will be given from education, health and child welfare. 

You also analyse the emergence of grand theories of childhood (psychodynamic, social learning theories, constructivist theories, and socio-cultural theories) to consider how these theories are themselves socially constructed and historically located. 


Module learning outcomes

  • Show awareness of a range of theoretical perspectives on childhood.
  • Demonstrate developing understanding of the way in which different theoretical approaches can inform a critical understanding of childhood.
  • Evaluate and communicate ideas and research findings by written, oral or visual means, making appropriate use of ICT.