Proseminar 2 (3 credits) – required for all doctoral students in the first year of study
Monday/Wednesday 4:20 – 5:40 pm
Dr. Lauren Silver

The proseminar in Childhood Studies is a year-long investigation into some of the important issues, concepts and debates that surround the study of children and childhood today. We will explore various changing and nuanced definitions of “the child,” ethical dilemmas in working with children, the history of western childhood and global childhoods, race, class gender and sexuality, children’s literature, schooling, the manipulation of images of childhood and the children’s agency in helping to form or to combat those images. Although over the year the course will necessarily bring together multiple perspectives, the first half of the proseminar will focus more closely on disciplines from the Humanities.

Children’s Rights (3 credits)
Thursday 6:00 – 8:50 pm
Dr. John Wall

This course examines children’s rights from a range of theoretical, practical, historical, cultural, and global perspectives. It asks what it means to speak of children and youth as possessing rights, how children’s rights challenge broader human rights, how children’s rights have changed over time, what key struggles are emerging locally and internationally, how children and youth may participate in such struggles, and how children’s rights face issues of cultural difference, marginalization from power, and practical implementation. Students gain a solid grounding in children’s rights theory and an appreciation for the dilemmas, struggles, and possibilities of children’s rights practices.

Literary and Cultural Constructs of Childhood (3 credits)
Wednesday 6:00-8:50 pm
Dr. Lynne Vallone

This course examines changing concepts of childhood as reflected in a range of literary and cultural texts from a variety of cultures and periods.  We consider the representations of children and childhood throughout literature and culture; the impact of the concept of childhood on intellectual and aesthetic traditions; the role of childhood in imagination and memory as well as in actuality; and the notion of childhood as a discursive category useful for understanding human subjectivity and the human condition.

Quantitative Methods (3 credits)
Tuesday 6:00 – 8:50 pm
Dr. Wenhua Lu

The objectives of this quantitative research methods course are to teach students to (1) implement the most appropriate research strategies in the pursuit of knowledge pertinent to topics relevant to childhood studies, (2) understand and critically assess reports of experiment and observational-type research studies, (3) develop thorough literature reviews, (4) develop methodological strategies for testing important hypotheses and answering research questions, and (5) become proficient in the use of the American Psychological Association publication standards. The course examines  (1) the underlying quantitative mechanism guiding research, including the four types of experimental validity [statistical conclusion, internal, construct, and external] and how to minimize threats to each, (2) issues regarding the selection and evaluation of measures including the various types of reliability and validity, (3) sampling strategies, (4) experimental and quasi-experimental designs including their underlying assumptions, and (5) observational (case-control and cohort) designs. This course will be taught at an advanced level, as such it will expose students to the complexities and difficulties of formulating significant childhood studies research.