Contemporary Debates 2: Connecting Theory and Practice

Module code: X3232
Level 5
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

Study connections and disjunctures between theories, policies and practice in relation to work with children, young people and families.

You will learn about:

  • the ways in which theoretical constructions of childhood and child development have informed policy and practice across children's services
  • the impact of key theoretical and methodological approaches on the design and development of policy and services
  • the relative dominance of different approaches. 

You will explore psychodynamic, social learning, constructivist, and socio-cultural theories as part of this module, and look at the interface between different theoretical approaches and understandings of evidence-based policy and practice in relation to children, young people and families.

Examples from a UK and a cross-national perspective, and from education, health and child welfare, are used to help you analyse the ways in which the inter-relationship between theory, policy and practice is itself socially constructed and historically located.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate critical understanding of the relative tensions, merits and limitations of different theoretical contributions examined in the context of their application to relevant childhood and youth policy and practice.
  • Show awareness of the impact of different theoretical orientations on children's and young people's development and lived experiences.
  • Evaluate and communicate ideas effectively and clearly by written and oral means making use of ICTs where relevant.
  • Demonstrate the development of an informed personal position on policy, practice and values affecting work with children, young people and families in a variety of contexts.