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Unit information: Children in a Global Context in 2014/15

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Unit name Children in a Global Context
Unit code SPOL32008
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Aghtaie
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will examine childhood in an international context. It applies a child rights framework to describe and discuss the current situation of children around the world. There will be a focus on the interaction between poverty and the economic and social rights accorded to women and children.

Teaching will be topic based, considering for example: • Conceptualisation and measurement of child poverty and wellbeing

• Children and a developing world (globalisation, labour, migration, trafficking, HIV/aids, imprisonment and execution)

• Children made vulnerable by conflict, disability, orphans or street-dwelling

• The rights of children to basic services (health and nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation, education, right to live)

• The rights to education and play

• The place of children and child rights in development programmes

• Children's perspectives on their lives and rights Lectures and seminars sometimes will be supplemented with mandatory film group showing portrayals of children's lives from different parts of the world currently and historically.


• To present a child centred view of international development

• To introduce students to the notion of children’s agency

• To give students an informed view of the global context for childhood

• To explain the interchanges between policy areas

• To illustrate the multiple contexts for a happy childhood

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students will:

  • Be familiar with the UNCRC
  • Be familiar with the impacts on children of topics covered
  • Understand debates about the conceptualisation and measurement of child poverty
  • Be aware of the scope and nature of international development programmes aimed at improving child wellbeing
  • Have experience of using indicators of child wellbeing

Teaching Information

Lectures, seminars and student led study.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment: 2,000 word essay using the State of the World’s Children (current edition each year) focussing on a topic set each year and using student’s quantitative skills.

Summative assessment: Timed essay following students’ own study. Students will be asked to research one subject covered in the course and complete a complete a timed essay under supervision.

Reading and References

• Adamson, P., Bradshaw, J., Hoelscher, P. and Richardson, D. (2007) Child Poverty in Perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries, Innocenti Report Card, vol. 7, Unicef Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy.

• Gordon D, Nandy S, Pantazis C, Pemberton S, Townsend P (2003), Child Poverty in the Developing World, Bristol: Policy Press.

• UNICEF, State of the World’s Children Report (2000 to 2008).

• Ben-Arieh, A. and H. Wintersberger (eds.): 1997, Monitoring and Measuring the State of Children – Beyond Survival, Eurosocial Report No. 62 (European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna, Austria).