Module XAE-1027:
Children's Rights:Pers&Pract

Module Facts

Run by School of Education and Human Development

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Anne-Marie Smith

Overall aims and purpose

The rights and voice of the child are considered integral to work with children across multi-agency settings, and is also at the centre of new ways of involving children and young people in research. In the 30 years since the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was universally ratified, its ideals have led to major shifts in social, cultural, legal and educational ideas about children. These ideals have resulted in key legislation in national contexts, and have brought the needs of children into the arena of global human rights. In this module we will explore historical and contemporary aspects of the child rights agenda, examining different approaches and initiatives that aim to make children’s rights a reality in schools and communities in the UK and beyond. Rights education, norms and practice will be explored in diverse cultural contexts as a way of considering key principles such as ‘the child’s best interest’ and ‘children’s participation’. Framed by the children’s rights agenda, the module will explore ways in which cultural awareness can be nurtured in childhood and youth.

Course content

Introduction to the UNCRC History of children’s rights in Wales, UK and internationally The 3 ‘P’s: Provision, Protection and Participation Rights into legislation: examples Tensions and Perspectives: a child’s best interest Cross cultural perspectives on rights Rights in action: case studies (e.g. India, Brazil, Nicaragua, Scotland) Children’s participation rights and Article 12 UK Children’s commissioners Educational policy and strategies to promote understanding of children's rights Philosophy for Children (P4C) as a teaching tool for Rights Children's rights: culture, identity and diversity the UNCRC and children's cultural rights Cultural relativism in children's rights practice the 'best interests of the child' in diverse cultural contexts Tokenism, rhetoric and reality of children's rights

Assessment Criteria


Threshold: D-, D, D+ A satisfactory understanding and adequate appreciation of the importance of promoting awareness of rights in cultural contexts; some knowledge of the different meanings attached to the concept of culture; some awareness of children's participation rights; an ability to discuss culture with some reference to children's rights; an awareness of educational strategies to promote cultural awareness (example: the 'Philosophy for Children' method); some knowledge of the UNCRC;


Good: C-, C., C+ A good understanding and appreciation of the importance of promoting awareness of rights in cultural contexts;; an ability to discuss culture with well-informed reference to children's rights; a good knowledge of the different meanings attached to the concept of culture; a good engagement with debates relating to children's participation rights; a sound understanding of educational strategies to promote cultural awareness (example: the 'Philosophy for Children' method); a good insight into the UNCRC and related ideas and implications for practice.


Excellent: A- to A* A thorough understanding and appreciation of the importance of promoting awareness of rights in cultural contexts; an ability to engage in depth with ideas about culture within the context of children's rights; an excellent knowledge of the different meanings and interpretations attached to the concept of culture; a sound understanding of debates relating to children's participation rights & related debates and tensions; an excellent understanding of educational strategies to promote cultural awareness (example: the 'Philosophy for Children' method); an insightful and very well informed understanding of the principles of the UNCRC and its implications for practice; very good knowledge of related ideas such as cultural relativism.

Learning outcomes

    1. Understand implications of cross-cultural contexts for the realisation of children’s rights
    1. Show an informed understanding of the concepts of culture and rights
    1. Explain the importance of promoting children’s awareness of culture and rights
    1. Consider meaningful ways of educating children about rights
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the UNCRC and its key principles

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
GROUP PRESENTATION Group presentations

Group Presentation to discuss ideas of culture and children's rights in theory and practice. Each group will have 20 minutes to present (15 mins plus 5 mins questions) Half of the marks will be based on group performance, and half of marks will be based on individual input.

COURSEWORK A Resource for educating children about rights

Design a resource for educating children about rights; include a written rationale for its use For this assignment grades will be awarded based on two components as follows: a. Part 1: present the resource to peers (50% of grade) (LO 5) b. Part 2: write an informed rationale for its use and potential effectiveness (50 % of grade) (LO 1 & 4)


Teaching and Learning Strategy


Lectures: 22 hours Interactive Lectures: 22 hours (11@2 hours weekly)


1hr seminars to follow on from fortnightly lectures

Private study

independent learning: reading and research, and preparation of tasks


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • reflect upon a range of psychological sociological health historical and philosophical perspectives and consider how these underpin different understandings of babies and young children and childhood
  • apply multiple perspectives to early childhood issues recognising that early childhood studies involves a range of research methods theories evidence and applications
  • integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in early childhood studies and recognise distinctive early childhood studies approaches to relevant issues
  • constructively critique theories practice and research in the area of child development
  • demonstrate knowledge and awareness of the skills needed for different pedagogical approaches including: - the necessary depth and strength of relationships with individual children and children in groups and the facilitation of the building of relationships with and between children - the formation and promotion of mutually respectful relationships with families colleagues other professionals and communities
  • critically explore examine and evaluate the significance of the cultural historical and contemporary features of various policies institutions and agencies in regard to babies young children and childhood

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: