Saturday, 4 May 2013


B.A. Programme: Education 
Year – I 
(Semester II) 

Rationale for the paper:
The course attempts to build an understanding of children and adults in different social contexts. It explores
childhood and young adults’ lives within society, family and school (and includes those who do not live in
families or do not go to school). The running thread through this paper is young adulthood, which has been
chosen to significantly place the participants’ own experience at the centre of study. The students are also
expected to reflect on their own experiences of childhood growing up and schooling and to situate these in
socio-cultural contexts. The course becomes essential to the understanding of the context of education which
deals with the developing individual or the child.
Concurrent to each unit a set of projects have been suggested. The course could begin with a reflection of
one’s own growing up as a child and then trace the journey through adolescence to young adulthood in India.
An understanding of socio-cultural contexts could be achieved through an active engagement with the analysis of biographies, construction of case studies, personal histories, and materials drawn from popular culture, films, personal narratives and fiction.

Course objectives: 
The paper is structured to explore the following questions: 
 Are our social emotional concerns different at different periods of life? How are they different? How can
this difference be best understood?
 How do we learn to be a part of society, to participate in it and transform it?
 How does the socio-cultural context of life shape an individual?
 To be able to appreciate diversity in cultures and how it contributes to different educational experiences
and opportunities

Unit I: Growing Up: Babyhood to old age 
 To understand how we develop.
 To appreciate different periods of life from a psycho-social perspective.
 To understand that childhood/adolescence is a cultural construction.
 To understand the aspirations and challenges of young adults in different cultures.
 To reflect on how education must address diverse lives of children and young adults.
 Development has many dimensions, and it continues through the life span. How is life experienced
differently in different cultures and contexts?
 Different periods in the life of any individual
 Adolescence: Aspirations and challenges, idealism and agency to change the world
 Who is a child? How is the child different from an adult in different societies? How do adult–child
relationships differ and define a child in different societies ?

Projects/ Assignments: Reflective essays. 
 Understanding that development occurs in a context: Descriptions of contexts of poverty, street life,
rural/ urban life to be drawn from autobiographies, films and children’s literature etc.
 Listening to adolescent’s conversations in the canteen / metro / bus, to chart out themes around which
they talk. (these could be recorded as observations/ speech)
 Understanding social disadvantage : Interviews of a working child / a child who has experienced natural
calamity or war or a terrorist act/ orphan/ a street child/urban poor child/ a child who does not go to
school/ a person who got married as a child
 To develop an appreciation of the various contexts in which children live: Analysis of select films (The
White Balloon, Children of Heaven, Bootpolish) 6
 Understanding adolescence and young adulthood: To understand how experiences of growing up can
be different in different contexts-growing up as a boy/girl, in rural/urban India, or in socio-cultural

Unit II: Learning to be part of society
 To understand how family plays a role in making us a part of society; the contribution of education to the
 To analyze adult-child relationships and understand lives of children growing up in diverse contexts.
 To reflect on the changing roles of young adults in contemporary society.
 Socialization and child rearing practices in different cultures; growing up in tribal communities
 Adult-child relationships: Attachment and bonding as a process, development of security; issues in
parenting, children growing up in single parent families, children growing up in orphanages,
experiences of trauma in childhood (child abuse, violence, death of a parent).
 Peer relationships: Development of friendships and close relationships, peer participations in
adolescence - clique formation, sharing and cooperation, bullying, aggression; implications for school
 Adolescence and young adulthood experienced differently - changing roles and responsibilities in
contemporary Indian society

Projects/ Assignments: Reflective essays. 
 Collecting and analyzing statistics on the girl child – can be studied with reference to gender ratio,
education, child labour force and so forth. Sources could be the Human Development Reports, NSSO
data, concurrent comparisons with PROBE report
 Reflections on one’s own patterns of bonding and attachment, to interview peers to look at patterns of
bonding, changes over time.

Unit III: Through the looking glass: self and emotions 
 To look at one’s own ways of thinking, feeling and understanding the world.
 To understand how we relate to the world through emotions
 Our sense of self and understanding who we are
 Emotions: ways of coping, dealing with stress
 Autobiographical writings about growing up and experiences of school (Toto Chan, Anne Frank,
Kancha Illaih, Valmiki (Jhoothan), Viramma ( first chapter) , Frank Toto, Firdaus Kanga)
Projects/ Assignments: Reflective essays
 To encourage participants to write about one’s own self, engaging with themes of self concept, self
esteem, one’s aspirations, conflicts.

Unit IV: Engaging with Media 
 To critically engage with media and its representations: selective portrayal, stereotyping, marginalizing
of voices
 To understand how individuals participate, respond and react to media

 Media: Depiction of children, adolescents and young men and women in television and cinema, reality
television, advertisements, young adults’ participation in social networks as a new ground of interaction
and socialization, popular literature that young adults are reading in contemporary society.
Projects/ Assignments: Reflective essays.
 Children in media: The participants can engage with media’s imagination and depiction of children,
adolescents and young adults. Critical analysis of women/young adults in serials, reality television,
their commodification and marketization. Materials could be drawn from journalistic writing, newspaper
clippings, advertisements and popular culture. 7
 Watching selected movies and analysis of the changing nature of society and societal expectations from
young adults
 Literature for young adults: Looking at what young adults are reading

General readings: 
 Cole, M., (1996). The Development of Children. New York: Worth publishers. (see chapter 1, page 1-46
for introduction; chapter 15 & 16, pages 621- 664 , 665 -714 for adolescence
 Crain, W., (2005). Theories of Development (5th Edition). Pearson
 Holt, J., (1990). How children fail. Penguin books; Bachche Asafal Kaise Hote Hain, Eklavya
 Kanga, F., (1991). Trying to Grow. New Delhi : Ravi Dayal Publishers
 Mukunda, K. (2009). What did you ask at school today? Noida: Harper Collins Publishers. (refer
chapter 4: child development , page 77-96, page 22-50)
 Munsinger, H., (1975) (edited) Readings in Child Development. New York: Holt Rinehart Winson
(chapter 7-21, The Stages of Intellectual Development of the Child (Piaget, J, pages 124-130; chapter
Sharma, N., (2003).Understanding Adolescence. New Delhi: NBT
 Wadia, H. Confining childhood in India. Web source:
 And
 Weiner.M.,(1995). The child and the state in India: Child labor and education policies in comparative
perspective. Oxford University Press. ( for case profiles) Case Profiles: Page 19-32, (case proflies of
working children from Sivaskasi, Khurja, Bangalore city market, Secunderabad, Firozabad.)
Audio Visual Resources / Films:
 Children of Heaven 1997. Directed by Majid Majidi. Iran: Miramax Films
 Dharm. 2007. Directed by Bhavna Talwar.
 Salaam Bombay 1988 Directed by Mira Nair
 Smile Pinky- 2008. Directed by Megan Mylan
 The Blue Umbrella. 2007. Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj (based on the novel by Ruskin Bond)
 The White Balloon. 1995.Directed by Jafar Panahi. Iranian Film

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