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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EDUC3903 Children, Families and Cultural Diversity: Philosophical Perspectives

20 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Dr Peter Hart

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Can members of far-right political groups also be teachers in culturally diverse schools? What protections should religious groups expect from equality legislation? Should parents be allowed to take their child abroad for experimental treatment against the advice of UK doctors? What are the limits of a child's agency?This module will explore the relationship between children,families, culture and diversity from a philosophical perspective. It will use philosophical theory as a resource to better understand, articulate, and recognise tensions inherent in a plural society, as they relate to children and families.Questions that consider the challenging of balancing the interests of the state, the family, and the child will be looked at in relation to cultures that are complex and diverse, where minorities may find themselves in opposition to, or oppressed by, the culture of the dominant majority. You will be asked to consider case examples involving such cultural tensions and examine the various issues and philosophical perspectives within them.The module will be of particular interest to students thinking of a career involving work with children and their families.


This module adopts a philosophical approach to children, families and cultural diversity.

It aims to
- illustrate the uncertainty, ambiguity and limitations of current knowledge and understanding of childhood, youth and family;
- explore the relationship between children, families and the state
- examine the concepts of citizenship and democracy
- explore tensions for the state in upholding children's rights and parents' rights
- explore the opportunities and challenges presented by cultural civersity, and
- explore the role of education in relation to rights, cultural diversity, democracy and citizenship

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students should be able to
- understand and critically engage with philosophical debates surrounding children's rights, citizenship and cultural diversity
- demonstrate a conceptual understanding of a range of theoretical and often conflicting accounts of citizenship and rights
- understand how wider debates around the construction of childhood, youth and cultural diversity intersect with concepts of citizenship and democracy
- demonstrate an awareness of the tensions in balancing the roles and responsibilities of individuals, families and state


This module will cover:

- How philosophical perspectives can aid our understanding of the state's role in family life and the development of children
- Liberalism
- Citizenship
- Democracy
- Children's rights and parental responsibilities
- Pluralism
- Tensions around children and childhood within a plural society
- How social professional (including teachers and social workers) practice within these tensions.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours175.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

In order to achieve the knowledge outcomes students will be required to conduct ongoing private study and reading between lectures in addition to giving an oral group presentation in weeks 9 and 10. These presentations are an opportunity for students to receive peer and tutor feedback to support the final summative assessment. Consequently students will be required to conduct independent research and study to support this presentation.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The module is structured around debates, discussion and other weekly tasks providing students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the key concepts on the module. Thus tutors will be able to monitor student progress towards the assessment.

In addition feedback will be provided to students during their week 8 and 9 presentations that will enable them to improve their understanding of key concepts and enable tutors to identify where additional support is required.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Computer ExerciseContributing discussion to a wiki10.00
Essay4000 words90.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 12:18:03


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