children's rights in early childhood

Key Facts            

Type of course: Post Graduate combined (taught and research) worth 60PG credits.
Study options:

Combination of face-to-face taught days, virtual teaching & distance learning

Duration: 1 year
Start date: October 2021
Accreditation: Birmingham City University
Credits: 60 PG credits
Fees: TBC
Tutors: Aline Cole-Albäck
Entry requirements:

An undergraduate degree is generally requested as applicants will be expected to study at Post Graduate level, however applications from practitioners without degrees, but with relevant experience, are encouraged.


Upon your successful application via BCU and your place acceptance, CREC will contact you to request your Year 1 module choice. 

If you are a continuing student, please contact the programme lead or your tutor to discuss your Year 2/3 options.

Who is this course aimed at?

This new pathway has been created for professionals who are interested in developing their understanding of how the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) can be used as a frame of reference to guide practice in early childhood education and care (ECEC). This pathway is relevant for professionals who work with or for children, such as:
 - Early Years Foundation Stage leaders and teachers working with children from birth to eight
 - Advisors supporting provision and practice for children birth to eight
 - Owners, daycare managers and heads of early years settings
 - Trainers and consultants working in the field of ECEC
No previous knowledge of the UNCRC is necessary as the pathway will be context-sensitive and linked to each student's own personal and professional circumstances.
It is designed to support professionals in making explicit how the UNCRC, a core international treaty, is relevant to practice in order to develop a greater respect for children’s rights and children as beings of equal worth to adults.

What are the main themes?

The aim of this pathway is to develop a more relationship-centred understanding of children’s rights and to be able to use that understanding and knowledge to critically reflect on and analyse practice and children’s everyday experiences. This is done by focusing on:
 - Questioning prevalent views of the child and childhood
 - Understanding the legal and theoretical foundation for children’s rights in early childhood
 - How children’s rights are defined, key concepts of rights and how rights are (and are not) protected in legislation
 - Exploring the difference between rights, wants and needs
 - Defining rights-inspired versus rights-based practice
 - Reflecting on the role of the adult in fulfilling the rights of the child and the difference between being an implementer, reformist or change agent for children’s rights
 - Barriers to the realisation of children’s rights
 - How to analyse and interpret rights-based practice and experiences using the Significant Events Approach to Children’s Rights

How will it help my practice?

Many professional working with or for children know about the UNCRC and that children have rights but are not sure how rights can guide pedagogical practice with young children, especially early verbal children.
This pathway provides an opportunity to develop your critical thinking on the implementation of the UNCRC by exploring the relationship between children's rights, professional practice and children’s everyday experiences through concrete examples. By drawing on theory, and your own and other’s real-world examples, you will explore how a rights-based approach might impact on young children’s right to develop to their fullest potential.
Taking a praxeological approach to children’s rights, this pathway reflects on the professional’s actions and children’s daily experiences, making explicit power and values, in order to transform practice.
By examining the substantive rights of the child in the UNCRC and how to translate those rights into practice you will gain:
 - Greater knowledge of children's rights theory directly relevant to ECEC
 - The ability to articulate how the UNCRC can guide practice in early childhood settings
 - A clear understanding of how children’s rights support wellbeing, relationships, freedom of expression, play and learning
 - A strong vision and value base for rights-based practice from birth to eight
 - Clarity about what and how to provide for context-specific, rights-respecting experiences
 - Confidence in developing practice that is rights-respecting from birth
 - The ability to analyse and interpret rights-based practice from a child perspective
Learning to use the Significant Events Approach to Children’s Rights will give you a tool to discover what rights, interests, priorities and concerns are important to young children themselves, based on evidence from observational data.


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