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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Education

Undergraduate Course: Children and Childhoods (EDUA08090)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryChildren and Childhoods asks students to relate their own ideas concerning children and young people to articles on childhood drawn from a wide range of subjects (e.g. History, Sociology, Psychology, Geography, Women's Studies, Ethnicity, Anthropology, Fictional Literature, etc). The course encourages students to investigate, compare and contrast a diverse number of representations of childhood in academic writing, literature, film, drama, art, news papers and so forth. The central aim is to develop the students' understanding of and ability to utilise different theories of childhood to understand their own and other people's everyday values, taken for granted assumptions, patterns of behaviour and work practices. Students will be asked to identify how topical aspects of childhood relate to different representations of childhood within childhood studies literature.

Particular emphasis is placed on sociological and psychological understandings of social action, socialisation and development. These perspectives will be contrasted with representations in the media and literature of children as passive, vulnerable, good, evil, unruly and in need of protection. This theoretical perspective will underpin later courses that explore childhood and the family, childhood law & policy and practical work-based modules concerning project evaluation, working in, developing and managing organisations.
Course description The course will introduce you to a range of historical and contemporary ideas,
philosophies and theories about childhood. You will also be required to apply these ideas
to a range of issues across your various workplaces. For example:
-Examining the relationship between the concept of children as agents/active colearners and work place frameworks/structures of learning
-Considering diverse childhoods, practical contexts and the policy implications of issues of inclusion, social justice, protection, safety, respect and anti-discrimination
-Applying theory to understanding limitations in practice, improvements in your own practice and the development/leadership of others (e.g. by developing inclusive cultures, creating enabling environments
This course aims to develop your understanding of, and ability to utilise, different theories of childhood to understand your own and other people¿s everyday values, taken for granted assumptions, patterns of behaviour and work practices. You will do this through investigating the following,
- Different ideas about childhood;
- Different groups of children: age, gender, disability, ethnicity, geographic locations;
-Representations of childhood in the media and arts (collected by the students);
- Your own perspectives on childhood.
You will also have to utilise practical skills for accessing the internet, sending email and searching web sites as part of your weekly class exercises. To undertake the assignment you will need to identify relevant media content, academic articles and policy documents to compare and contrast.
By the end of the course you will have to demonstrate in your assignment that you have fulfilled the course learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements All non BA Childhood Practice students should contact the Course Organiser before enrolling on the course. Entry to the course is at the discretion of the Course Organiser as potential students must have previous experience working with children and young people and during the course should have access to a relevant childcare/early years setting e.g. voluntary/part time etc) in order to meet the assignment criteria. There is a maximum number of students who may be enrolled on the course.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  39
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment:
Discuss the following statement:
-The research, ideas and tools for analysis presented in this course have helped me reflect upon and rethink my work with children and how I lead others in their work with children.
Length and form of assignment:
2500 word Essay
The discussion in your essay must:
-Compare and contrast two theories of childhood;
-Illustrate your discussion with representations of children in either art, books, film, and/or wider media (where relevant these can be included within the essay or as an appendix);
-Relate theoretical perspectives to concrete examples from everyday settings; and,
-Tell us how you have changed (or plan to change) your practice and are leading improvements (or planning to lead improvements) in your work place based on what you have learnt.

Ensure you read widely and base your essay in the research. Your essay should be logically structured and make accurate and consistent use of the Harvard referencing system.

Please give your essay a title.
Feedback Feedback on your work
Feedback is an integral part of Children and Childhoods and takes many forms. We encourage you to see learning and teaching as a partnership: we will do our best to give
you helpful feedback on your work, and it is up to you to make the best use of the feedback you receive. If you find yourself unsure of how to make good use of feedback,
please speak to Kristina Konstantoni. You will also find a wealth of information on feedback, including information about what to expect and how to make use of it, on the
University¿s Enhancing Feedback website, available at:
The University of Edinburgh is committed to providing at least one feedback or feedforward opportunity as part of every course, with feedback provided within 15 working
days or in time to be useful for the next piece of assessed work, whichever is the sooner.
In Children and Childhood's we significantly exceed this stated commitment by offering the following opportunities to all students:
Formative Assessment Opportunities
Class sessions for Children and Childhood¿s have been designed to include interactive group workshop activities. Information about these activities can be found on Learn in advance of each class. You should come fully prepared and able to share ideas and questions. Through discussion, your tutor and other students will help clarify any misunderstandings, and work on applying theoretical ideas to practical examples. Such
discussions are very important opportunities for feedback. Your tutor will comment on your understanding of the ideas covered in the course, and may give you specific advice regarding your progress. Such feedback is intended to help you understand what your strengths and development points are, and to enable you to take informed responsibility for your learning and progression. To really make the most of them, you may find it helpful to write up notes from the discussions as soon as possible after the event. You will also be able to extend these discussions with your classmates using the online discussions
function on Learn.
You will also be taking part in online discussions, which offers opportunities for peer feedback and your tutor will also pick up issues raised in these discussions during
workshop sessions.
The task is in two parts. You are asked to write a summary (100-150 words) of one of your readings (from week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) followed by a short reflective piece (150-200 words) on how the main ideas of your reading can be used to analyse and reflect upon your practice.
Please go back to your reflective diary/learning portfolio and see what reflections you have made too. You should upload your work to the Week 6 Task thread in the discussion folder
on Learn. During week 6 you should aim to give feedback on
at least two other students¿ work, using the feedback/marking criteria available. The person giving the feedback learns as much or more from the process as the person receiving it: applying criteria to a piece of work is an important part of the
development of ¿academic connoisseurship¿. The course organiser will provide group feedback for the cohort as a whole. This will be available for download and will be discussed in class.
Children and Childhoods is assessed by an essay.
Examples of essays from previous years are available via the course assessment folder, together with other guidance including the grade-related marking criteria. You can use
these in a number of ways. For instance, you could discuss them with another student or small group of students, you might want to try ¿marking¿ them yourself and comparing your assessment with the actual marking sheet. There will be an opportunity for discussion of the examples in Week 8 class where you will work in groups to discuss the essays, try and ¿mark¿ them yourself and compare to the grade-related marking criteria. This is a feedforward activity which will help you develop the skills and knowledge needed for the assignment. This will work best if you come well prepared, having already familiarised yourself with the examples, and have notes on what you want to share or ask.
Week 11 will be devoted to providing individual and group feedback to your essay plans/mind maps, from tutors and peers. Students are welcome to submit essays
plans/mindmaps earlier via email and receive online feedback. Week 11 will provide individual face to face feedback on essay plans. Making good use of feed-forward and feedback is a skill which, like any other, needs to be learned, practised and honed. You can find information and resources to help you make
good use of feedback on the University of Edinburgh¿s Enhancing Feedback website
available at:
If you feel you would benefit from guidance on making good use of feedback, you can talk to your PT, and/or ask whether the topic can be discussed at one of your PT group meetings.
Formal Feedback Formal written feedback will be given to each student on his or her assignment at the end
of the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse their own and other people's perspectives of children and young people
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of a variety of contrasting academic writing on childhood, including the social construction of childhood and the development of the sociology, psychology, history, geography and anthropology of childhood
  3. Identify, analyse and synthesise opposing topical and historical representations of childhood
  4. Demonstrate the ability to contrast a variety of non-academic representations of childhood within art, books, film, and wider media
  5. Relate theoretical perspectives of childhood to concrete everyday settings (e.g. their work place)
Reading List
Indicative Reading:
Foley, P., Roche, J. and Tucker, S. (2001) Children in Society. Milton Keyes, Open University Press.
James, A. & Prout, A. (1997) Contemporary issues in the Sociological study of Childhood'. In: James, A & Prout, A (eds) Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood. London, Falmer.
Kehily, J. M., (2009) An Introduction to Childhood Studies. 2nd edition. Maidenhead, Open University Press.
Maynard, T. & Thomas, N. (2004) An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies. London, Sage.
Qvortrup, J., Corsaro, W.A., Honig, M.S. (eds) (2009) The Palgrave Handbook of Childhood Studies. Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan.
Taylor, J. & Woods, M. (Eds) (1998) Early Childhood Studies: An Holistic Introduction. London, Arnold.
Woodhead, M. & Montgomery, H. (Eds) (2003) Understanding Childhood An Interdisciplinary Approach. Chichester, John Wiley and Sons
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills A. Research and Enquiry
Graduates of the University will be able to create new knowledge and opportunities for learning through the process of research and enquiry. This is understood in terms of the following:
-be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them
-be able to exercise critical judgment in creating new understanding
-be ready to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
-be able to critically assess existing understanding and the limitations of their own knowledge and recognise the need to regularly challenge all knowledge
-search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and understanding
-have an informed respect for the principles, methods, standards, values and boundaries of their discipline(s) and the capacity to question these
-understand economic, legal, social, cultural and environmental issues in the use of information
-recognise the importance of reflecting on their learning experiences and be aware of their own learning style
B. Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
Graduates of the University will be able to work independently and sustainably, in a way that is informed by openness, curiosity and a desire to meet new challenges.
This is understood in terms of the following:
-be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
- be creative and imaginative thinkers
-be able to identify processes and strategies for learning
-be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
-be able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, taking into account ethical and professional issues
-be able to use collaboration and debate effectively to test, modify and strengthen their own views
-be intellectually curious and able to sustain intellectual interest
-be able to respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts
-have a personal vision and goals and be able to work towards these in a sustainable way
C. Communication
Graduates of the University will recognise and value communication as the tool for negotiating and creating new understanding, collaborating with others, and furthering
their own learning. This is understood in terms of the following:
-make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding
-use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others
-further their own learning through effective use of the full range of
communication approaches
- seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
-recognise the benefits of communicating with those beyond their immediate environments
-use effective communication to articulate their skills as identified through selfreflection

D. Personal Effectiveness
Graduates of the University will be able to effect change and be responsive to the situations and environments in which they operate. This is understood in terms
of the following:
-appreciate and use talents constructively
-be able to create and harness opportunities
-be able to manage risk while initiating and managing change
-be responsive to their changing surroundings, being both flexible and proactive
-have the confidence to make decisions based on their understandings and their personal and intellectual autonomy
-be able to flexibly transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another
-understand social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities and issues
- be able to work effectively with others, capitalising on their different thinking, experience and skills
- work with, manage, and lead others in ways that value their diversity and equality and that encourage their contribution to the organisation and the wider community
Additional Class Delivery Information Teaching will involve a combination of direct and independent learning, including: tutorials, short set lectures, project work, web-based research, group collaborative discussion and
the setting of individual study tasks that encourage students to contribute to the curriculum by sharing knowledge.
You will be required to keep a weekly note/journal of how your perspectives of children and young people have developed throughout the course. This journal then becomes your
learning record and enables you to complete reflection tasks in the final year of the course.
Keywordschildren,childhoods,theories,practice,policy,reflexivity,lead and manage change
Course organiserMs Maggie Morrison
Tel: (0131 6)51 4237
Course secretaryMs Ann Black
Tel: (0131 6)51 6382
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