Children and Childhood Studies (CCS) is an interdisciplinary field that utilizes areas of contemporary study to ask the questions, understand the problems, and find the solutions toward improving the quality of childhood experienced by the world’s community of children. CCS chiefly draws upon scholarship in the social sciences (specifically anthropology, economics, history, and sociology), the humanities (especially literature, religion, and the fine arts), and the behavioral sciences (with an emphasis on psychology).
Children and Childhood Studies is a relatively new academic discipline. Discussions of the development of this field can be found in Mary Jane Kehily’s An Introduction to Childhood Studies and in Jean and Richard Mills’ Childhood Studies: A Reader in Perspectives of Childhood. There is general agreement that the first CCS programs began in the United Kingdom in the mid-1980s. These programs were “modules” of study within established fields such as education. According to Kehily, dedicated degree programs in childhood studies are a recent development. The Open University degree program was one of the first in the UK and was begun in 2003. In the United States there are dozens of children/childhood “modules,” minors, or concentrations within the degree programs of academic disciplines. Rutgers University, Camden, New Jersey, is developing the first CCS program in the United States to award degrees (BA through PhD) specifically in CCS. This program is slated to begin in the Fall of 2007.
The evolution of CCS as an academic discipline has much in common with the development of other types of interdisciplinary scholarship such as African-American Studies and Women's Studies. Each was initiated for the purpose of bringing to the academy points of view that had been underrepresented, if not repressed. The unique perspective that CCS represents is an underlying advocacy of children and the issues affecting their lives and well-being.
International Journal of Educational Policy, Research, and Practice: Reconceptualizing Childhood Studies Mission Statement
Jan 01, 2006; The International Journal of Educational Policy, Research and Practice (IJEPRP): Reconceptualizing Childhood Studies is available...