Full Title Children's lives

Short Title Children's lives

Code CARE09003
Level 09
Credit 10

Author Cavaliero, Tamsin
Department Social Sciences

Subject Area Social Studies
Attendence N/A%

This module examines children's lives from a range of contemporary and historical perspectives. The module provides ECCE leaders with a contextual perspective on current issues in children's lives. It focuses on four key sets of issues: changes in 'Irish families'; children's cultural worlds, in particular media, communication and consumption; children's play; and diversity - including differences based on ethnicity and (dis)ability.

Indicative Syllabus
The contemporary Irish family
  • Introduction to Sociology of family
  • Demography and changes in the Irish family
  • Children and families in Irish society

Working with families
  • Definition of family support
  • Existing family support initiatives in the statutory and voluntary sectors.
  • Engaging families in initiatives to address welfare or child protection issues.

Children and diversity
  • Perspectives on diversity: intersectional approaches
  • Diversity in the ECCE setting
  • Equality and the early years: law, policy and practice

Children's cultural worlds
  • Children and consumption: toys
  • Children and the media: international perspectives
  • Children and digital technology

Perspectives on play
  • Theoretical perspectives on play: psychological, sociological and historical
  • Outdoor play: opportunities and challenges
  • Critical perspectives on play and pedagogy

The Education System
  • The impact of the Education system on children's lives
  • Education Disadvantage
  • Diversity in Education

Learning Outcomes
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to
    1. Evaluate key historical and contemporary trends and changes in relation to the 'Irish family' in today's society.
    1. Critically analyse current initiatives in policy and practice within the voluntary and statutory sectors as they relate to children and families (i.e. TUSLA, Meitheal, Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, Children's and Young Peoples Services Committee [CYPSC]).
    1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the meaning of assimilation, multi-cultural and intercultural approaches to working with children from minority groups in early years settings
    1. Comprehensively assess a range of current debates surrounding children's cultural worlds, with a focus on consumption, toys and games, food, communication and media
    1. Apply a multidisciplinary perspective to children's play and its relevance for the early years sector

Assessment Strategies
Continuous Assessment

Module Dependencies
Pre Requisite Modules
Co Requisite Modules
Incompatible Modules

Coursework Assessment Breakdown %
Course Work / Continuous Assessment 100 %

Coursework Assessment Breakdown

Description Outcome Assessed % of Total Assessment Week
Participation in online forum 1 20 OnGoing
Filmed Pecha Kucha Presentation 2,3 40 Week 7
Literature Review 4,5 40 Week 13

End Exam Assessment Breakdown

Description Outcome Assessed % of Total Assessment Week

Distance Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 0.00 Hours

Part Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 0.00 Hours

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload
Workshop Not Specified Residential Workshop 18 Once Per Module 0.75

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 0.75 Hours

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload
Lecture Online Online Lecture 3 Fortnightly 1.50

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 1.50 Hours

Book Resources


Barron, C. (2013) 'Physical activity play in local housing estates and child wellness in Ireland'. International Journal of Play 2(3), pp. 220-236.

Cohen, D. (2006) The development of play [Concepts in developmental psychology]. London: Routledge.

Dublin City Development Board (2012) Play here, Play there, Play everywhere. Dublin City Play Plan 2012-2017. Dublin: Dublin City Development Board

Gauntlett, D. (2007) Creative Explorations: New approaches to identities and audiences. London: Routledge

Gill, T. (2007) No fear: Growing up in a risk averse society. London: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Grieshaber, S. & F. McArdle (2010) The trouble with play. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Howard, J. & K. McInnes (2013) The essence of play: A practice companion for professionals working with children and young people. London: Routledge.

Kallialla, M. (2006) Play culture in a changing world. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Learning through landscapes (2014) Play Out! How to develop your outside space for learning and play. London: Routledge.

Lester, S. & W. Russell (2008) Play for a change: Play, policy and practice a review of contemporary perspectives. London: Play England. [www.playengland.org.uk/media/120519/play-for-a-change-summary.pdf]

Levinson, M.P. (2005) The Role of Play in the Formation and Maintenance of Cultural IdentityGypsy Children in Home and School Contexts. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Vol. 34(5)pp. 499-532

Marsh, J. and Bishop, J. (2014) Changing Play: Play, media and commercial culture from the 1950s to the present day. OUP.

Sutton-Smith, B. (1997) The Ambiguity of Play. Harvard Press

The changing family

Connolly, L. (2014) The 'Irish' family. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis.

CSO [Central Statistics Office] (2013) Survey on income and living conditions (SILC) 2011 and 2010 revised results. [cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/silc/2011/silc_2011.pdf]

Davis. A (2012) Modern motherhood: Women and family in England 1945-2000. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Fahey, T. & C. Field (2008) Families in Ireland: An analysis of patterns and trends. Dublin: Department of Social and Family Affairs.

Hilliard, B. (2007) 'Family'. In S. O'Sullivan (ed) Contemporary Ireland: A sociological map. Dublin: UCD Press.

Lutz, H. (2011) The new maids: Transnational women and the care economy. London: Zed.

Share, P., M. Corcoran & B. Conway (2012) 'Gender, sexuality and the family. In Sociology of Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.

Children's cultural worlds

Bragg, S. & M. Kehily (2013) Children and young people's cultural worlds. Bristol: Policy Press.

Buckingham, D. (2011) The material child: Growing up in consumer culture. Cambridge Polity.

Cross, G. (2004) The cute and the cool: Wondrous innocence and modern American children's culture. New York: Oxford University Press.

Devine, D (2008) 'Children at the margins? - Changing constructions of childhood in contemporary Ireland' In: James, A and James, A (eds). European Childhoods: Cultures, Politics and Participation. New York: Palgrave Press.

Hood, S. & E. McEvoy (eds) 'Írish archives: Children/childhood in Ireland'. Journal of the Irish Society for Archives 2013.

Ito, M. et al (2008) Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of findings from the digital youth project. MIT Press

Livingstone, S. Haddon, L. Gorzig, A. and Olaffson, K. (2011) EU Kids Online report. http://www2.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/research/EUKidsOnline/EU Kids II (2009-11)/EUKidsOnlineIIReports/Final report.pdf

Marsh, J. (2010) Young Children's Play in Online Virtual Worlds. Journal of Early Childhood Research 8(1)

Ruddock, A. (2013) Youth and Media. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Souza, M. & P. Cabello (2012) The emerging media toddlers. Gothenburg: Nordicom.

Tisdall, EKM and Punch, S. (2013) Not so new: looking critically at childhood studies. Children's Geographies 10:3 249-264


Ball, J. (2008) Cultural Safety in Practice with Children, Families and Communities. University of Victoria Press. http://www.ecdip.org/culturalsafety/

Baldock, P. (2010) Understanding Cultural Diversity in the Early Years. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Devarakonda, C. (2013) Diversity and inclusion in early childhood: An introduction. London: Sage.

Devine, D. and Kelly, M. (2006) 'I just don't want to get picked on by anybody' Dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in a newly multi-ethnic Irish primary school. Children and Society 20

Fearon K. and E. Mearns (2012) 'The Media initiative for children: using early years programmes to tackle sectarianism and racism'. International Journal of Diversity 11(5) [www.early-years.org/mifc/docs/mifc article.pdf]

Hankivsky, O. (2012). An Intersectionality-Based Policy Analysis Framework. Vancouver, BC: Institute for Intersectionality Research and Policy, Simon Fraser University.

Jeffers, G. & U. O'Connor (2008) Education for citizenship and diversity in Irish contexts. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.

Konstantoni, K., Kustatscher, M. and Emejulu, A. (2014) Children's Rights, Social Justice and Social Identities in Scotland: Intersections in Research, Policy and Practice. Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series Report. Scottish Universities Insight Institute.

Lindon, J. (2012) Equality and inclusion in early childhood. Oxford: Bookpoint.

Murray, C. (2012) A Minority within a Minority? Social Justice for Traveller and Roma Children within ECCE. European Journal of Education. Vol. 47 (4)pp. 569-583

Office of the Minister for Children (2006) Diversity and equality guidelines for childcare providers. Dublin: OMC. [www.dcya.gov.ie/documents/childcare/diversity_and_equality.pdf]

O'Nions, H. (2010) Divide and teach: educational inequality and the Roma. International Journal of Human Rights. Vol. 14(3) pp.464-489

Family support

Brady. B., P. Dolan & J. Canavan (2004) Working for children and families. Galway: Western Health Board/ Child and Family Research Policy Unit, NUIG

DCYA (2014) Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: the national policy framework for children and Young People 2014-2020. Dublin. Stationary Office. http://www.dcya.gov.ie/documents/cypp_framework/BetterOutcomesBetterFutureReport.pdf

DCYA Department of Children and Youth Affairs (2011) Children First: national guidance for the protection and welfare of children. Dublin. Stationary Office.

DoHC [Department of Health and Children] (2004) Working for children and families: Exploring good practice. Dublin: Stationery Office

Family Support Agency (2012) Strategic plan 2010-2012. Dublin: FSA

Forkan. C. (2008) An evaluation of the Sligo Springboard Resource House Project. Galway: Child and Family Resource Centre NUIG

FRC Family Resource Centre (2006) National Forum: Supporting families, building communities 2006-2009 Strategic Plan. Dublin: Family Support Agency.

Graham G (2006) 'Social care work with families in crisis: attachment strategies and effective care-giving through life-space opportunities'. In T. O'Connor & M. Murphy (eds) Social care in Ireland: Theory, policy and practice. Cork: Cork Institute of Technology Press.

Lalor. K. & P. Share. P (2013) Applied Social Care. An Introduction for Students in Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.

McKeown K., T. Haase & J. Pratschke (2001) Springboard: Promoting family well being through family support services. Dublin: Department of Health and Children.

Molloy, B. & G. Harper (2009) Community Mothers Programme annual report. Lenus -Irish Health Repository. [www.lenus.ie/hse/handle/10147/110453]

O'Doherty, C. (2007) A new Agenda for Family Support: providing services that create social capital. Dublin Blackhall.

Oliver. B & B. Pitt (eds) (2011) Working with children, young people and families. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Phillips, G. (2012) 'What is family support anyway?' In A. Jackson & C. O'Doherty (eds) Community development in Ireland: Theory, policy and practice. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.

TUSLA Child and Family Agency (2015) Meitheal: a national practice model for all people working with children, young people and their families http://www.tusla.ie/uploads/content/TUSLA-Meitheal_Toolkit.pdf


Barnardo's (2009) Written Out Written Off : Failure to Invest in Education Deprives Children of their Potential https://www.barnardos.ie/assets/files/campaigns/disadvantages/Written_Out_Written_Off.pdf

Department of Education and Skills (2011) Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life: the National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy Among Children and Young People 2011-2020 https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/lit_num_strategy_full.pdf

Newman, L. and Woodrow, C. (2015) Practitioner Research in Early Childhood: International Issues and Perspectives. London: Sage Publications Ltd
Other Resources
Url Resources
  • http://www.cypsc.ie/
  • http://www.tusla.ie/
  • Marte Meo - Working with children [www.earlychildhoodireland.ie]
  • Irish Qualitative Data Archive (2012) New Perspectives on Family Change in Ireland [presentations from conference] [www.iqda.ie/content/new-perspectives-family-change-ireland-presentations]
Additional Info