module specification

AE6009 - Education and Children's Lives: Social Worlds of Childhood (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Education and Children's Lives: Social Worlds of Childhood
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
108 hours Guided independent study
72 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
60 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
60 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Essay
Coursework 80%   Report
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

This module offers an opportunity for independent study and aims to enable students to:

• Examine childhood as a historically and culturally constructed phenomenon and understand the role of institutions and professional practice in reproducing those constructions;

• Explore the intersections of social variables with childhood and the position of children as social actors;

• Reflect on ways that settings can and do respond to differences;

• Introduce students to the spatial turn across the social sciences and its affordances in offering insight into children’s lives;

• Equip students with practical and workable approaches to research enquiry with children.

Prior learning requirements

Enhanced DBS for school placement.


The module explores and addresses:

• Histories of education, ‘modern’ childhood and ‘the child’
• Social constructionism, developmentalism and beyond nature/culture
• Spatiality, children’s lived spaces and institutional design
• Childhood and social class, ethnicity, gender, (dis)ability and sexuality
• Equality, diversity and difference
• Childhoods across majority and minority worlds and local impacts on schooling and other institutions of childhood
• Children’s work, labour and play
• Institutions of childhood and children’s lives in institutions
• Research and research methods on, with and by children

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module offers a blended approach to learning comprising, inter alia, opportunities for directed study, workshops, lectures and prepared seminars with research activity. The latter requires students to undertake a small-scale research activity involving children in settings as a case study that draws the components of the module together.

Students will be given a Research, Practice and Placement Booklet. which they will refer to and use throughout this module and across the two years of the course. This booklet will also be used in all placement and school visits and can be shown and used in work with their mentors in the schools.

Learning outcomes

On successul completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate systematic understanding of keys aspects of the contribution and usefulness of social constructionist accounts of childhood;

2. Demonstrate systematic understanding of keys aspects of practical responses to addressing social and cultural differences in childhood and the relationship between the practices and values of institutional settings and children’s lives as social actors;

3. Be able to discuss and critically evaluate children’s lives in terms of the language of space, place and spatiality and its contribution to understanding children’s lives;

4. Demonstrate the ability to conduct small-scale research with children that can inform their practice as professionals.