ED1FCS-The Child in Society (1)

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Hilary Harris
Email: hilary.harris@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module will explore the nature of childhood in both a contemporary and historical setting. It will evaluate differences between the British and the international views of the influence of society on the child. The elements of the legislative framework within which child carers and educators are operating, with particular regard to the nature of childhood and safeguarding, will be examined. The principles enshrined in relevant legislation, the sources of support for children, parents and carers will be examined and aspects of multi-disciplinary working will be considered. Influences which affect children within the family and society will be researched.
In this module the sociological backdrop that is relevant to contemporary childhood in the UK and internationally will be examined. Connections will be made between current theories on childhood and the students’ own practice and settings. Opportunities will be given to reflect upon their own practice and undertake independent research exploring sources of support for families, examining the nature of the child in the present society and the effects of diverse influences upon the development of children.

The aims of this module are to develop knowledge and understanding of the child in society through:
•Exploration of the nature of childhood: past, present and international interpretations of its construct
•Examination of the influence of the family and the changing nature of the family in the 21st century
It will also provide an understanding of:
•The regulatory and legislative framework relating to children and its application in their own practice
•Working in partnership with other agencies
•Children’s personal safety and safeguarding
•The diverse influences which affect child development including poverty, health and well-being issues, abuse, discrimination and peer pressure

Assessable learning outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • identify current and historical constructs relating to the concept of childhood and recognise that the nature of childhood differs around the world

  • evaluate the influences which can affect the development and well-being of children both in the family and in society

  • draw on a variety of theoretical perspectives in relation to children’s agency within the fa mily and wider society that are informed by academic literature and research

  • reflect on their own role and that of other professionals when meeting the diverse needs of children and their families and promoting their well-being

  • recognise and incorporate connections between module, practice and relevant areas of the appropriate curriculum/framework

  • develop and apply knowledge required for practitioners which are linked to government policy, legislat ion, statutory and non-statutory guidance and current initiatives

Additional outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should also be able to:

  • evaluate the provision for children and the value and efficacy of what is provided for them

  • evaluate how best to support children in relation to their needs and the way they respond to pressures in their daily lives

  • consider the development of children’s rights and autonomy and how professionals consider these rights alongside meeting children’s needs

  • demonstrate awareness of the ethical issues raised within this module and be able to discuss these in relation to personal beliefs and values.

Develop academic skills of independent secondary research and essay writing

Outline content:

  • The nature of childhood and the pressures on children in modern society. 

  • Supporting children under pressure 

  • Assessment of children’s needs 

  • The role of the professional

  • The legislative and policy framework

Global context:
Includes explorations of the nature of childhood across both British and international perspectives.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures, discussion groups, tasks, research, work based activities. Work – based learning will provide an essential contribution to achievement of the outcomes.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18 3
Seminars 1.5
Tutorials 1.5
External visits 6
Placement 80 20
Guided independent study: 50 20
Total hours by term 158 43
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 90
Practical skills assessment 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
3000 word essay on perspectives of childhood (90%)
Mentor/student professional discussion (10%)

Formative assessment methods:
Work-based discussions with the mentor, plus tutorials and placement experience all contribute to formative assessment.

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
40% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission during the summer resit period if candidate would otherwise fail to progress

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books:  The essential text books for this module are below. These texts are available in the library or within online resources or you may be able to source them more cheaply than the publisher’s recommended price


Doherty, J., &Hughes. M. (2013). Child development theory and practice. (2nd ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.approx £28

2) Specialist equipment or materials:  None

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:  None

4) Printing and binding:  None

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:  None

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:  There is generally an annual visit to the Foundling Museum to support this module. It is likely that the entrance fee will be paid by the College so the primary outlay will be off-peak return train transport to London from the student’s College.

Last updated: 30 July 2021


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