Postgraduate Course: Childhood and Children's Rights (PGSP11303)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Childhood 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.
Childhood 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 (UNCRC), 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 introduces and critically discusses children's rights and the UNCRC with students. The course asks students to apply insights from theory and international law, to relevant policies and practices.
Sessions cover a range of disciplinary approaches to the study of childhood, in-depth discussion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and opportunities for group discussions and group work on applying these theoretical and legal ideas to policy and practice.
Teaching styles will differ from session to session but all are likely to emphasise student participation and initiative. Some sessions will tend towards a seminar-style; others will have a mix of lecturer-led and student-led sessions.
From weeks 1-7, there will be two hour facilitated sessions. You are most welcome to make a brief presentation (5 minutes) on your own past research projects etc. during the From weeks 2-5, you will have the option of forming reading groups from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. Rooms have been reserved for this. Students often ask for more time to consider reading actively together, so this is a facilitated opportunity
In week 7, from 4:00pm to 5:00pm you will be asked to form your group presentation group, decide how you are going to work together, and identify a topic. In week 10, the groups will make their presentations.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||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 20% of the overall mark for the course. 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 4000 words, excluding bibliography. The assignment will be 80% of the overall mark for the course.
||We encourage you to undertake your essay on the basis of your group presentation, to maximise the benefits of working together and from both peer and student feedback.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand different theories of childhood and be able to evaluate how such theories can assist in understanding and critiquing relevant policies and practices
- Be at the forefront of knowledge of children's rights and their implications for policies and practices
- Be attentive to issues of inclusion and anti-discrimination, in relation to the above
- Have up-to-date, cross-national and international perspectives, in relation to the above
- Be able to communicate the above effectively to others, in writing and verbally
|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. http://www.unicef.org/crc/
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] http://www.unicef.org/crc/
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 http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/
Wells, K. (2009) Childhood in a Global Perspective, Bristol: Policy Press.
|Graduate Attributes and 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
|Course organiser||Prof Kay Tisdall
Tel: (0131 6)51 6415
|Course secretary||Miss Jemma Auns
Tel: (0131 6) 50 24 56