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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Childhood and Children's Rights (PGSP11303)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgrad (School of Social and Political Studies) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionChildhood studies is a vibrant, interdisciplinary area. Children are no longer seen as simply passive recipients of services and care but as active participants in their own lives and the lives of others. This change is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is the most ratified convention in the world. This course will explore complementary and contrasting conceptualisations of 'childhood', developed historically and co-currently, in a range of academic disciplines. It asks students to apply such theoretical insights to relevant policies and practices, encouraging students to gain skills in policy analysis and critical reflections on practice. This course is required for students undertaking the MSc/ Diploma in Childhood Studies.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  45
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, including class sessions and independent learning, you should:
1. Understand different theories of childhood and be able to evaluate how such theories can assist in understanding and critiquing relevant policies and practices
2. Be at the forefront of knowledge of children's rights and their implications for policies and practices
3. Be attentive to issues of inclusion and anti-discrimination, in relation to the above
4. Have up-to-date, cross-national and international perspectives, in relation to the above
5. Be able to communicate the above effectively to others, in writing and verbally
Assessment Information
Two formally assessed pieces of work are required:
1. Group presentation. Small working groups will work together in weeks 8-9 of the course, to prepare a short 10-15 minute presentation for week 10. Working groups will select a policy or practice focus (e.g. within youth justice, poverty, child protection, health or participation), within a particular country or regional context. The group will be asked to present a critical analysis of the particular policy and practice, for its conceptualisations of childhood and its adherence (or not) to children's rights. A powerpoint presentation will be required, or equivalent, and this will be submitted as part of the assessment.
The presentation will be 10% of the mark. Good practice will be followed in terms of marking of these presentations, including peer and academic staff feedback, marking and the potential for mark adjustments for group members who do not substantially contribute.
Provision will need to be made for students who unavoidably miss the working groups or presentations, due to special circumstances. A short written assignment will be an alternative.
The group presentation has the potential to assist students in preparing for the subsequent assessment, the policy and practice analysis. However, students can choose a different policy or practice focus for this second assessment.
2. Policy or practice analysis. This will be an independent assignment written by each student, in essay form. Students will be asked to present a critical analysis of a particular policy and practice, for its adherence (or not) to children's rights and its conceptualisations of childhood. Students will be required to address learning outcomes 1-5 (see above) in their assignment. The essay will be 3500 words, excluding bibliography. The assignment will be 90% of the mark.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Weeks 1 + 2; Introduction to course and theories
- introducing the social construction of childhood, and historical, cross-national and current conceptualisations of children and childhood
- introducing a range of relevant disciplines, and their similarities and differences in relation to the above

Weeks 3 + 4; Children's rights and their relationships with policy and practice
- background of children's rights, theoretically and historically
- international obligations
- critical consideration of rights and children's rights, and their impacts on policy and practice

Weeks 5 -7; Case study of Education and Play
- a worked example of applying different theoretical perspectives, international and cross-national perspective, to policy and practice issues.

Weeks 8-10; Group work on Policy/ Practice Case Studies, leading to group presentations
- students are asked to apply the knowledge and critical analysis above, to a particular policy and practice focus
- week 10 will be the group presentations
Transferable skills 1. Experience in accessing and critically analysing policy documents and reports, including web resources
2. Advanced academic skills in locating relevant resources
3. Taking responsibility for your own work, particularly in relation to independent learning and policy/ practice analysis
4. Demonstrating leadership and group work skills, in being part of autonomous working groups with set outcomes

Reading list Indicative Reading
Aitken, S., Lund, R., and Kjorholt, A.T. (Eds.) (2008) Global Childhoods: Globalization, Development and Young People, Abingdon: Routledge.
Alanen, L. and Mayall, B. (Eds.) (2001) Conceptualizing Child-Adult Relations, Abingdon: Routledge/ Falmer Press.
Archard, D. (2004) Children: rights and childhood, 2nd Edition, Abingdon: Routledge.
Freeman, M.A. (ed) (2004) Children's Rights, Volumes I and II, Aldershot: Ashgate.
General Assembly of the United Nations (1989) The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 20 November 1989.
General Assembly of the United Nations (1989) The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 20 November 1989. [UN Convention]
Invernizzi, A. and Williams, J. (Eds.) (2008) Children and Citizenship, London: Sage.
James, A. and James, A. (2008) Key Concepts in Childhood Studies, London: Sage.
James, A., Jenks, C. and Prout, A. (1998) Theorizing Childhood, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Prout, A. (2005) The Future of Childhood, London: Routledge/ Falmer.
Qvortrup, J., Bardy, M., Sgritta, G. and Wintersberger, H. (Eds.) (1994) Childhood Matters. Social Theory, Practice and Politics, European Centre, Vienna. Aldershot: Avebury.
Smith, P.K., Cowie, H. and Blades, M. (2003) Understanding Children's Development, 4th Edition, Oxford: Blackwell.
UN Committee on Rights of the Child: Country Reports and concluding remarks
Wells, K. (2009) Childhood in a Global Perspective, Bristol: Policy Press.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Kay Tisdall
Tel: (0131 6)50 3930
Course secretaryMr Andrew Macaulay
Tel: (0131 6)51 5067
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