Faculty of Education

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedNot offered in 2015


This unit introduces students to the sociology of childhood and critical childhood studies as important disciplinary fields of their work. Particular emphasis is given to children's participation and contribution as a socio-political issue. Students engage with critical ethnography as a method for research to investigate a range of issues in relation to contemporary childhood. Sociological research questions are raised including questions about children's identity, belonging to and participation in communities, gender, environmental issues and diversity. Students engage with notions of local and global citizenship from sociological perspectives to critically reflect on children's role in society. With a focus on the present and future, students are encouraged to investigate how early years education providers are responding to the critical issues raised in the unit.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the sociology of childhood and critical childhood studies as important disciplinary fields that inform their work
  2. develop research questions to critically examine sociological issues, such as children's identity, belonging, participation, gender, environmental issues and diversity
  3. demonstrate the capacity to begin to research childhood using critical ethnography
  4. critically reflect on and engage with critical issues in the context of early years' provision.


Literature review: sociology of childhood (1500 words, 40%)
Research task: design a proposal for research in sociology of childhood issues in local community contexts (2500 words equivalent, 60%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • 2 contact hours per week

(b.) Additional requirements:

  • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per week

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study