Concepts of Childhood

University of Melbourne

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Concepts of Childhood

  • Host University

    University of Melbourne

  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Early Childhood Education, Education, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    The last decade of the 20th century saw keen interest by researchers in changing concepts of childhood, stimulated in part by the translation into English in the 1970s of Philippe Aries' influential book, 'Centuries of Childhood'. The subsequent research has drawn on insights from various disciplines, including history, philosophy, education, the arts, literature, law and medicine. This subject examines the questions raised by this continuing body of research and relates them to current understandings of childhood and to recent changes in policies regarding children in diverse local and international contexts.
    An indicative list of topics in this subject is as follows: the Aries thesis; 'tabula rasa' views of children, in particular Locke and Skinner; the devleopmental model of childhood, in particular the contribution of Darwin, Freud and Piaget; childhood innocence and responsibility; the Confucian child; the child as sexual being; the child as a spritiual being; the child as consumer; the postmodern child as active agent in the construction of its own identity. There will be particular attention to the different types of evidence used to substantiate claims about the nature of childhood, such as cultural products including paintings, children's clothing, literauterfor and about children, educational and toehr institutions for shildren and research about children and childhood. In this subject, The united Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a starting point for broad investigations into the changing nature of childhood (from someone in need of protection to soemone with rights) and the universality of children's right.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.