programme

Understanding Childhood

Home/ Understanding Childhood
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSUS1PS7074

Semester and Year Offered: fourth semester

Course Coordinator and Team: Vinod.R

Email of course coordinator: vinod@aud.ac.in

Pre-requisites: Students should be comfortable with either Hindi or English, preferably both.

Aim: Students will be familiarized with the lives of children in various contexts within India and highlight the criticality of the (mis)perception that childhood is a homogenous entity and the dialogue and engagement with the notion as agency and resilence in shaping their socialisation in different contexts. It also discusses the concept of family, early experiences and social development through theoretical models of Bronfenbrenner .Kagitcibasi and Bowlby. There is a focus on elementary cognitive processes of perception, sensation and attention to explore the notion of child as a scientist/ problem solver to child as apprentice through the theoretical perspectives of Piaget and Vygotsky. The course also attempts to address questions such as: why do children play?’ Is there a relationship between playing and reality? The course also examines the relationship between moral reasoning and moral behaviour through children’s literature.

Course Outcomes:

To enable the students to

  1. Understand the category of childhood /s as a contested terrain influenced by historical ,socio economic and cultural contexts within their classroom contexts by listening to their classmates.
  2. Explain the significance of child observation in various contexts through field visits and presentations on childhood ethnographies in the Indian contexts as a means to reassess their ideas about education, work, violence and suffering.
  3. Critically reflect on the role of gender experiences of preparation of being and becoming a natural/ adoptive parent, impact of parenting styles on their personality, significance of sex education for the parent and the child around menstrual cycle, types of child birth and the role of father in child care and wellbeing.
  4. Develop a theoretical understanding around socio- emotional and cognitive development in from a cognitive as well as psychoanalytic perspective .
  5. Evolve a sensitive understanding around moral reasoning and thinking based on theoretical perspectives of, Kohlberg and carol Gilligan to appreciate the inner world of children through children’s literature.
  6. Module 1 and 3rd module are compulsory any two modules from the rest 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th modules may be chosen based on students interest and questions. A total of 4 modules would be taken up for the course

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: The construct of childhood

. It would focus on contextual and cultural differences in the lived experience of children in varied familiar contexts of the students in the classroom. This would also necessitate an exploration around articulating childhood memories and experiences, and exploring the limitations and potentials of listening, communicating and relating to one’s own self and the autobiographical anecdotes of peer/s group in the classroom.

Module 2 : Childhoods in India

The unit will be taught through field visits to different sites to understand the relevance of contexts in understanding lives of children .it begins with student presentations of childhood ethnographic accounts of various case studies in the books titled Childhoods in South Asia (edited Deepak Kumar Behera, Pearson, 2007) covering the following themes: child labour and domestic service in south Asia, Everyday life in a slum in Delhi:.: the impact of new market economy, new market opportunity on everyday lives of children and young people in the Indian Himalayas, The impact of drought on indigenous children: the case of Kalahandi district in Orissa, ,Ritual ‘selling’ and throwing away of children,

Module 3: Prenatal Development and family in cultural context

The major developments in the foetus that take place before birth will be the focus of this module. The focus of the module would also be in understanding various aspects of planning and preparing for parenthood, new born, growth and development of infant, physical care; as well as critically examining notions of sex selection, abortion, sperm donation, contraception, adoption, pregnancies, fatherhood and motherhood, single parenting. This unit will also discuss the concept of family, early experiences and social development through theoretical models of Bronfenbrenner and Bowlby.

Module 4: Cognitive Development

This unit would focus on elementary cognitive processes of perception, sensation and attention to explore the notion of child as a scientist/ problem solver to child as apprentice through the theoretical perspectives of Piaget and Vygotsky.

Module 5: The World of Art and Play

This unit would focus on observing children at play to understand the nature and its relationship of play to linguistic and social development and therapy. Why do children play?’ Is there a relationship between playing and reality.

Module 6: Emergence of morality in Child’s relations and communication

This unit would begin in trying to understand the different levels of the adult child communication patterns and the relationships that emerge through reading children literature, stories, popular comics and fiction. This module then would attempt to see the relationship between moral reasoning and moral behaviour. The frame work of moral development will be introduced through the theories of moral development theorised by Kohlberg, Gilligan, Piaget. The theme of infantile sexuality would be discussed from a Freudian frame work. The unit would examine the discourse of presence and /or absence of sexuality in childhood and the prevalence of child sexual abuse to contextualise morality of childhood in the Indian context.

Assessment Details with weights:

S.No

Assessment

Weight age in percentages

1

 Presentations/ film review

20

2

Mid Semester Exam

20

3

Home assignment/diary

20

4

End Semester Exam

40

 

Reading List:

  • Premchand. (2009). Idgah. Delhi: Sahitya Prakashan
  • Exupery, A. S. (1995) . The Little Prince. London:Wordsworth.
  • Holt, J. (1974). Escape from Childhood- The Needs And Rights of Children (pp. 57-62, pp. 63-69, p. 70-75). Bhopal: Eklavya.
  • Weiner, M. (1991). The child and the state in India: child labour and education policy in comparative perspective (pp. 1-53).New Jersey, NJ:Princeton University Press.
  • Behera, D.K. (2007). Childhoods in South Asia (pp. 1-25). New Delhi, ND:Pearson.
  • Richard, G. (2005). Psychology the Science of Human Behaviour (pp 541 – 565). United Kingdom, UK:Hodder Arnold.
  • Kagitcibasi, C. (2007). Family Self and Human Development Across Cultures, Theory and Applications (pp 19-34, pp 72-97). New Jersery, NJ:Lawnrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Hurlock, E.B. (2003). Child growth and development (pp. 2-46, 48-86,116-130). New Delhi, ND:Tata Mc Graw-Hill.
  • Cole, M. & Cole, S. (1989). The development of children (pp.144-148, pp.177-187, pp. 274-280, pp.395-403, pp. 523-527). New York, NY: Scientific American Books.

ADDITIONAL REFERENCES:

  • .Corsaro, W. A. (2011). The Sociology of Childhood (pp. 67-115). New Delhi, ND: Sage
  • Deviprasad. (1998). Art the basis of education (pp 42-71). New Delhi, ND:National Book Trust.
  • 12..Erikson, E. H. (1972). Childhood and society (pp. 209-246). New York, NY: W.W.Norton.
  • 13..Kakar, S. (1981). Child in Indian tradition. The inner world: a psychoanalytic study of childhood and society in India (pp. 189-211). New Delhi ND: Oxford University Press.
  • 14.Gilligan, C. (1993). In a different voice (pp. 93-105). Rhode Island: Harvard University Press