Upon completion of the Children's Studies Program, students are expected to be able to:
- Depth and Breadth of Knowledge
a. Understand and explain the key concepts, methodologies, theoretical approaches and technologies that comprise the interdisciplinary, rights-based and child-centered field of Children’s Studies
b. Gather, review, evaluate and interpret information relevant to the various aspects of the field, especially the means to hear children’s voices and to undertake study of children and childhood
c. Demonstrate critical thinking and analytical skills and be able to apply their learning to understand and address problems by integrating appropriate aspects of Children’s Studies to determine and pursue the best interests of the child in any given situation.
- Knowledge of Methodologies
Demonstrate a general understanding of established methods of inquiry in major disciplines involved in child-focused studies historically as well as those specific to a rights-based and child-centered approach enabling them to:
a. evaluate the contributions of different theoretical approaches and research studies based upon them to an understanding of the human condition from the child’s perspective and an appreciation for the sources and outcomes of lived childhoods
b. appreciate the value of inter- and multidisciplinary child-centered approaches to enhancing childist interpretations and knowledge
c. describe and comment upon aspects of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship and practices from various relevant disciplines that promote the best interests of the child.
- Applications of Knowledge
Demonstrate the ability to:
a. review, present and critically evaluate qualitative and quantitative information for the purpose of
i. identifying significant agenda of concern for children
ii. developing lines of argument on child-centered issues
iii. making sound judgments in accordance with the major theories, concepts and approaches of the subject of study
iv. applying underlying concepts, principles, and techniques of analysis, both within and outside Children’s Studies and,
v. wherever appropriate, use this knowledge in interactions with children.
b. use a range of established techniques, as well as those specific to a hearing the voices of children and working in their best interests, to obtain information for the purpose of
i. initiating and undertaking critical evaluation of arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts, information and actions relevant to children, their positions and their rights
ii. proposing solutions to problems involving children
iii. framing appropriate questions for the purpose of solving a child-related issues
iv. solving child-related problems in the best interests of the child/children involved; and
c. make critical use of scholarly reviews, evaluations of current and past practices, and primary sources.
Demonstrate the ability to communicate information, arguments, and analyses accurately and effectively, orally and in writing to a range of audiences (academic and non-academic, child as well as adult, public and private (government and non-government) at an advanced level.
- Awareness of Limits to Knowledge
Demonstrate an understanding of
a. the limits to their own knowledge of children and their abilities to work effectively in the best interests of children
b. the ways and extent to which knowledge of children and actions taken involving them are imbedded in culture (with all its contingent variables) and expressed through language and other means of communication that require great respect and sensitivity from an outsider who seeks to work with or for children of other cultures or in a multicultural setting
c. the extent to which each student’s understanding is bounded by a personal cultural context that necessarily influences his/her gaze and resultant analyses and interpretations of child/childhood.
- Autonomy and Professional Capacity
Demonstrate both at the University and in course-related community initiatives and research,
a. qualities and transferable skills necessary for future study, employment, community involvement, and other activities requiring
i. the exercise of initiative, personal responsibility and accountability in both personal and group contexts;
ii. working effectively with others;
iii. decision-making in complex contexts,
b. the ability to manage their own learning in changing circumstances, both within and outside the discipline and to determine their means to pursue further study according to their circumstances;
c. behaviour consistent with academic integrity, social responsibility and the highest ethical standards as are demanded when working with a vulnerable population such as children.
Students achieve the goals of the program by completing all the necessary requirements both on campus and in course-related community initiatives and research. Within courses themselves, students are assessed according to established practices, most of which increase in difficulty from year 1 to year 4.
Expectations of Program Minors as Opposed to Majors
Through active participation in the Children’s Studies Program and completion of the requirements for either the Major or the Minor, it is expected that students will have achieved a heightened professional competence as specialists in an interdisciplinary, rights-based, child-centered approach to understanding children and childhood around the world over time and to interacting with contemporary children in ways that promote their best interests.
Majors should be able to develop and undertake such research as junior scholars while Minors in Children’s Studies will be able to comprehend, evaluate and apply information obtained through child-centered research.
Majors are expected to have a substantially greater depth and breadth of understanding of the ethics and methodology of Children’s Studies than is required of Minors given that HUMA 3695 “Listening to Children: Ethics and Methodology of Child-Centered Studies” is an option for the latter but a core requirement for the former. Overall it is anticipated that Majors will pursue further Children’s Studies in some capacity professionally whereas Minors may retain an interest in, but not a concentrated focus on children in their subsequent studies and/or careers.