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Module XAE-2032:
The Global Child

Module Facts

Run by School of Education and Human Development

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Mr Clive Underwood

Overall aims and purpose

The module aims to explore issues regarding equality of access to education in an international context. It challenges some of the assumptions about education, looking in particular at inequality from an educational, social and welfare perspective in developed and developing countries. It focuses on themes of diversity, integration, equality and justice for children and young people. It investigates how economic and political practices impact on educational opportunities, and social outcomes and life choices. It examines the role of international organizations, governments, NGOs etc in promoting children and young people’s rights and entitlement

Course content

The background to the module is found with the Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989) (UNCRC) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs):

The module focuses on comparing and contrasting educational provision for children
and young people in a range of developed and developing countries.

Emphasis is placed on:

• the way that educational policies acknowledge or ignore the needs of children
and the promotion of social inclusion or exclusion.

• differences in equality of opportunity and the educational injustices in developed and
developing countries.

• the moral, ethical, economic, and political challenges of the twenty-­first century regarding the abuse of children's rights and needs within different contexts, examining case studies including: children as asylum seekers, economic migrants, and refugees; children as slaves and child labour; children as soldiers and orphans of war; sexually exploited children; children within cultural and religious conflicts and acts of terrorism; children with Aids and children living in poverty.

•the advocacy and intervention role of international organizations, such as the
United Nations, ILO, national governments and NGOs in bringing about social
change and justice and equity for children and young people

Assessment Criteria


A satisfactory knowledge and understanding of the reasons for educational inequality in a global context and the ability to adequately evaluate the impact of intervention and advocacy strategies on social and educational change


A good knowledge and understanding of the reasons for educational inequality in a global context and the ability to effectively evaluate the impact of intervention and advocacy strategies on social and educational change


A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the reasons for educational inequality in a global context and the ability to effectively evaluate in depth the impact of intervention and advocacy strategies on social and educational change.

Learning outcomes

    1. discuss critically the underlying values of educational policies of developed and developing countries, and appraise the strengths and weaknesses of such policies and practices in their social, political, religious and cultural contexts;
    2. identify and discuss critically injustice and lack of equality and educational opportunity world-wide;
    3. demonstrate critical understanding of the impact of current global issues, in various countries, across the developed and developing world on children's social, environmental, and educational needs and development;
    4. identify and appreciate the key economic and political factors that interplay in countries that abuse children's rights;
    5. critically evaluate the work of various international organizations, national governments and NGOs in intervention and advocacy for change in context of children's rights and education.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay Critical Essay 50
Written assignment, including essay Patchwork 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


33 hours of contact time delivered in a blended learning approach, involving online provision in the form of structured tasks, readings, recorded presentations and some face to face support seminars.

Private study 167

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.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • 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
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Reading List

Check Bb for additional weekly reading sources for sessions and assignments

Key texts

Cox C. & Marks J, (2006) This Immoral Trade: Slavery in the 21st Century, Monarch

Penn, H (2005) Unequal Childhood: Young children’s lives in poor countries, Routledge

Other recommended texts:

Ahier, J., et al., (2000) Diversity and Change: Education, Policy and Selection, Routledge

Alexander, R., (2001) Culture and Pedagogy, Blackwell, 2000.

Bales, K (2009) Disposable People, California

Beah, I. (2007) A long way gone: Memoirs of a boy soldier, London: Fourth Estate

Brown, M., and Harrison, D. (1996) Changing Childhood Oxford UP.

Children & Society, (2008) Special Issue: Child Slavery Worldwide, Vol. 22, Issue 3

**Craig, G. (ed) (2010) Child Slavery Now – A Contemporary Reader, Bristol:

The Policy Press General Assembly of the United Nations (1989),

The Conventions of the Rights of the Child http://www.unicef/org/CVC. Mann, S, (2007),

Human Rights and Social Justice in a Global Perspective: An Introduction to International Social Work , OUP

Martaine E et al (2006) Improving Primary Education in Developing Countries, World Bank

**Montgomery, H. (ed) (2013) Local Childhoods, Global Issues, 2nd edition, Bristol:

The Policy Press Rosen, D. M. (2005) Armies of the Young: child soldiers in war and terrorism, Rutgers University Press UNICEF. (various)

State of the World's Children. Oxford UP. UN. (2000) Millennium Development Goals.

**Wells, K. (2009) Childhood in a Global Perspective, Cambridge: Polity Press Wessells, M. G. (2006) Child Soldiers: from violence to protection, Harvard University Press

Williams J H & Cummings, W K, (2005) Policy-making for Education Reform in Developing Countries: Contexts and Processes, Oxford

Journals (all accessible via the Library catalogue)

*Journal of International Development International Journal of Educational Development Childhood – A Journal of Global Child Research Children’s Geographies Children and Society Gender and Education Gender and Society

*New Internationalist: a magazine that you can subscribe to, but you can go online and follow their blogs and international reports & stories. An excellent resource for global issues from a non-Western perspective.

Key Organisations/Websites Human Rights Watch:

International Labour Organisation (ILO):


ECPAT (Campaigning against child trafficking and transnational child exploitation):

UN Women (UN entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women):

Unicef Office of Research (‘Innocenti Centre’):

Save the Children International: Minority Rights Group International:

Courses including this module