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32 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
  • 3rd side (hint)
What is a child?
Lots of ways to define a child
- UNCRC - anyone under 18
- childhood means different things to different people
- societies make laws defining childhood e.g. voting rights, leaving school
Examples of cultural differences of when life begins
When life begins - Christians at conception; Waiwai 3 yrs old soul becomes complete.
Japanese culture - children seen as extension of parents.
What is a scientific approach to childhood?
seeks universal truths
knowledge objective
experiments: theory-prediction-testing
systematic research
children seen as immature, small people, developing & learning
Piaget, Kohlberg, Gessell
Examples of observational & experimental studies
Charles DARWIN - observed & experimented on baby son - 1840's
Arnold GESSEL - observation dome, USA 1911
John BOWLBY - observed children deprived of mother (orphans/hospitalized) 1930's
Historical roots of developmental approach to childhood
DR ITARD's experiments on 'WILD BOY of AVEYRON' - tried to reverse affects of social deprivation
Scientific approach - Piaget (early 20C)
Developmental psychologist
universal stages of cognitive development
sequential progression
children think differently to adults
What are Piaget's stages of cognitive development?

(hint: Some People Can Fly)
Sensori Motor 0-2
Pre-operational 3-6
Concrete-operational 7-11
Formal-operational 12+
link to Foundation Stage early childhood education England - based on linear stages of learning/development, sequential.

link to - play develops through stages:
S - solitary, repetition of new skills
P - use objects symbolically, make believe
C - play with others, role-play with rules
1970's experiments that challenge PIAGET's theory
1. Conservation of liquids
2 beakers filled to same level, 1 is poured into another different shaped beaker - is amount more, less or same?
2. 3 mountains task
Two intersecting 'walls'. Figures of boy & policemen placed at different points, child asked to hide boy from both policemen.
Different results to Piaget's because PRESENTED IN A WAY THAT WAS MORE RELEVANT TO CHILDREN p. 111
Scientific approach - Kohlberg (1971)
Piaget as starting point
moral beliefs universal
moral development 6 sequential stages
variation between ages & stages
used observation & experiments asking children q's about moral dilemmas
What are Kohlberg's stages of moral development?
Stage 1 wrong things are those that are punished
Stage 2 good and bad are about satifying your own needs
Stage 3 being good is looking after those you care about
stage 4 being good is about obeying the law
stage 5 being good is about forstering the welfare welbeing of others
stage 6 being good is defined by your own conscience
criticisms - saw moral beliefs as universal

put western beliefs onto all children
Scientific approach - Gessell (early 20C)
founded Yale clinic of Child Development 1911
observation dome
data bank of age/stage
'normative summaries' - normal behaviour grouped under 4 broad themes
What are the headings/themes of Gessell's normative summaries?
Give example of behaviour for 4 month old baby.

(hint: LAMPS)
Language - laughs
Adaptive behaviour - notices large objects
Motor - lifts head
Personal-Social - turns head to voice
ARGUMENT AGAINST Universal Stage Theory (generalised progression through stages)
Children's reasoning varies according to way task is presented & way it is understood.
What is a social constructionist approach to childhood?
knowledge constructed
no universal truths
based on human activity
nothing unbiased
practical & moral consequences of alternative 'realities'

Who is he?
Pioneered idea that childhood is a social construction in his book 'Centuries of Childhood' 1962
Claimed childhood invention of 16-17th century - did not exist before then.
Relied too heavily on paintings, which did not take into account lives of children - instead used symbolism.

Ignored other sources e.g. medical books on children's illnesses. Legal system set ages for criminal responsibility. Teachings of the Church on role of children.
WHY developmental research & theories are a SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION of childhood
Charting children's development relating to age is distinctive to modern societies. Children are constructed as 'in a process of becoming' rather than persons in their own right.
Social constructionist - Vygotsky
contemporary of Piaget
development between children not within
learn by socially constructing knowledge with a more able other
not linear stages
not universal, natural
social & cultural
'historical child' not 'eternal child'
development stages based on western values
link to - Reggio Emilia early childhood education in Italy.
Describe the term 'discourse'.
interconnected viewpoints
"rooted in a historical, social & political context" (Montogemery, 2003)
shape how people think & speak
change as society changes
can contradict/challenge eachother
affect how children are treated
different discourse of childhood from religion, philosphy, law, etc.
central to social constructionist approach
Describe the Romantic discourse of childhood.
children born inherently good
need protecting
corrupted by adult oppression
children not responsible if bad
advocate - 18C philosopher Rousseau
Examples of children represented from a Romantic discourse of childhood.
Peugeot TV ad - girl rescued by man as 'hero', she needing protecting from various hazards.

Ribbens (1994) study of mothers and their children.
Category - 'children as innocents'
How can a Romantic discourse of childhood affect the treatment of children?
young offenders - 'welfare' model
rehab not punishment
blame social factors not child
therapeutic approach
secure units not prison

media - censoring what children watch/internet/computer games/books etc, to protect them from 'corruption'
link to - children's play seen as normal and healthy
link to - Romantic constructions of playful child used to support campaigns against child labour during industrialisation late19C/early 20C and in the South now.

link to - literature, books about innocent adventures, etc.
Describe a puritan discourse of childhood.
children born inherently wicked
original sin
emphasis post Reformation
need teaching right from wrong
advocate - Hobbes - children unruly but can be enlightened through teaching
Examples of representations of children from a puritan discourse.
film 'Leon'
pre-teen girl's friendship with adult male assassin
sexualised & violent behaviour
due to her inherent wickedness & no adult correcting her

Ribbens (1994) study
category - "little devils"
natural potential to disrupt life, need to be shaped into social order
Example of puritan discourse affecting treatment of children.
young offenders
'justice' model
children as least partly responsible for actions
link to - Asquith, described 'welfare' and 'justice' models, Bulger case
Describe Tabula Rasa discourse of childhood.
'blank slate' (latin)
no innate qualities
time of becoming
children have specific needs
shaped by environment & experience
adults must provide correct environment
need adult control
advocate - Locke 17C
Example of Tabula Rasa discourse affecting treatment of children.
young offenders
'welfare' model
focus on rehab
Example of representation of children from Tabula Rasa discourse.
film "Leon"
girl seen as corrupted by her upbringing
lack of adult control & not provided with good environment
Describe the discourse of childhood 'Children as Small People'
category in Ribben's (1994) study
children's individuality & independence respected
differences between adults & children minimised
adults still more powerful
linked to children's rights
influences debates about young offenders
Describe an applied approach to childhood.
focus on practical
care & support
socila policy
professional practice
can be scientific or social constructionist
children's rights
used by organisations, institutions, people responsible for welfare
Ways Western construction of child have been globalised
Every country except US & Somalia has signed & ratified the UNCRC agreeing that 'a child means every human under 18 years' PROBLEMATIC - not all societies treat children as children up to that age

Expectations of child development based on Western notions.

Ideas that children should not work. PROBLEMATIC - many in South work through necessity & tradition.

Aid agencies use images of starving children in Africa, reinforces stereotype of helpless people.