Contemporary Debates 3: Future Directions

Module code: X3235
Level 6
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

The Debates modules run in Teaching Block 1 of each year and provide the programme with overall conceptual coherence and progression. The aim of the three modules is to locate experiences and knowledge of childhood and youth theory, policy and practice at a historical, social and cultural interface. The modules will expose students to the ways in which our experiences and knowledge of childhood change over time.

This final of the three Debates runs in Year 3 Block 1.

This third and final of three Debates focuses on the current state of the art in terms of knowledge and experience of childhood and youth studies, whilst looking to the future to considering developing agendas in theory, policy and professional practice. The module will consolidate learning from the two previous linked Debates modules, and will build on other theoretical, applied and methodological content in preceding years. More specifically, the module will examine the elements of grand theories and modern theories that hold currency or remain influential today, whilst introducing you to current trends in research on childhood including neuroscientific, post-modern and pragmatic traditions. You will be encouraged to problematise current trends in the same way they have problematised historical trends, to reflect on how the current 'state of the art' can be understood within a social, cultural and historical context. Drawing on relevant material from other modules in the BA (and encouraging you to draw on material covered in elective modules), this final module will actively engage with the inter-disciplinarity of both knowledge and experience of childhood and youth. The module will highlight debates around the social construction and politics of knowledge (e.g. evidence-based practice) and the influence of children's rights on shaping understanding and experience of childhood and youth. As with previous modules, examples will be given of the ways in which contemporary trends are influencing and shaping childhood and youth policy and practice and children's experiences nationally and internationally.

Teaching strategy will consist of an hour lecture followed by a two-hour seminar. You will also receive group tutorials to discuss their progress in understanding the key concepts and to gain further support in writing the assignment.

Summative assessment for the module will be based on a short Concept Note (1500 words), with a focus of your choice addressing a topic covered in the module. Formative feedback will be provided on one draft of the concept note and through discussion in group tutorials.

Module learning outcomes

  • Apply detailed theoretical knowledge and a critical understanding of childhood from a range of relevant perspectives eg: educational, welfare, psychological, sociological, cultural, legal, political or economic.
  • Critically reflect on the importance of theoretical approaches to working with children, young people and families in a variety of contexts.
  • Locate and justify an informed personal position on policy, practice and values affecting work with children in a variety of contexts.
  • Evaluate and communicate ideas and research findings effectively, clearly and fluently by written, oral or visual means, making effective use of ICT.