Not currently available in 2020

Unit description

Provides an understanding of childhood in its historical context and explores theoretical perspectives influencing conceptualisations of children and childhood, including the way these have changed over time and continue to vary between different social and cultural groups. Discusses ways in which these conceptions influence policy, practice and decision making by parents, professionals, government and the public are explored via case-studies drawn from contexts including education, family, social welfare, law, health, commerce, media and popular culture.

Unit content

1. Frameworks for describing and analysing children and childhood

  • Psychological, anthropological and sociological theories about childhood
  • Introduction to the social construction of childhood and the changing conceptions of children over time
  • Critically reflecting on your personal construction of childhood

2. Historical constructions of childhood

  • Western historical images
  • Indigenous historical images
  • The influence of the historical on the contemporary

3. Contemporary constructions of childhood

  • Contemporary images of childhood
  • Images of difference
  • Contemporary contexts (e.g. education, family, social welfare, law, media and popular culture, commerce)

4. Implications for professional practice with children

  • Recognising the varied childhoods experienced by children in the minority and majority worlds
  • Working ethically with children and young people
  • Facilitating children's agency and participation respectfully
  • Applying theoretical principles to best practice.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Teaching and assessment


Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2020 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.