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Images of childhood
Transcript of Images of childhood
This presentation provides a discussion and
reflection on ten images of childhood depicting differing historical/contemporary perspectives and social/cultural perspectives.
Image 1: Infaticidal Mode 0-4th Cetury
Construct of child: The child as evil construct originated from the idea that children were thought to be born evil because they were a product of fornication between a man and woman, and therefor people assumed the 'evil' needed to be beaten out of them (Sorin, 2005).
Perspectives: Helfer, etal (1997) states that infanticide was neither illegal nor immoral until the 4th Century.
Reflections and implications: I felt absolute disgust when reading about infanticide. As an educator I will assist children who are misbehaving ('evil') by figuring out how they can change their attitudes whether it be through collaborative activities or nurturing their creative interests.
Analysis of images
Image 2: Abandonment Mode 4-13th Century
Construct of child: The child as victim. In this image this construct is reflected as the children appear to be powerless orphans abandoned by their absent parents (Sorin, 2005).
Perspectives: Philosopher Paul Friere developed the critical theory of pedagogy where children must be heard and contribute to their life decisions (Cohn, 1988).
Reflections and implications: Educators must assist children in feeling a warm sense of community and agency within their school and home environment. It's also essential as an educator to notify children's services if a child appears to be miss treated at home and/or in their community. Abandonment does not nurture a child's development and wellbeing and therefore as an educator it is essential to apply Friere's theories to practice.
Image 3: Ambivalent Mode
Construct of child: The Adult in training. This construct is supported by the developmental theories of Piaget, Erikson and Freud where a child learns to be adult-like through the social construct of their parents influence and diligence (Sorin, 2005).
Perspectives: Despite the negative attributes of this Renaissance era towards child rearing, a positive element is expressed in this image as it became a time when children had closer contact with their parents, which improved the childrens positive emotions and wellbeing (McKerrow, 2003)
Reflections and implications: It's extremely important to aid children in learning life skills that will help them progress into their adult lives, however, one must also remember that a child needs to experience childhood. Educators must allow children to play and explore to benefit their present and future wellbeing.
Image Source: Parenting.org, 2013, Time-out guidelines for parents, Viewed July 2013 www.parenting.org/category/article/friman
Image 6: Commodity
Construct of child: Child as commodity. This construct of child displays a child in a somewhat patronising and unrespected light where they perceived more like objects than people by adults (Sorin, 2005).
Perspectives: Society and pop culture play a large role in accepting this form of child image.
Reflections and implications: I believe that taking advantage of children's innocence for superficial selfish motives is unfair. Educators can encourage children to express their creativity through art instead of others means which may view them as commodity's. This may influence adults around them on what is an acceptable portrayal of a child.
Image 7: Victim
Construct of child: The child as victim.
Perspectives: This child is a victim of social and political forces, which falls into the Socio-cultural theory of learning.
Reflections and implications: This image horrific. It shows the negative impacts of the Socio-cultural theory of learning. This image indicates how strong cultural and immediate surrounding influences are on a child's values. It's therefor neccessary as an educator to be aware of the positive effects you can have on children as pupils in teaching them about fairness and good morals.
Image 9: Agentic and commodity
Construct of child: Both of these constructs are quite contrasting as the agentic child are quite confident in their roles in this world and the commodity child are generally molded by the ideals of the adults (Sorin, 2005)
Perspectives: As the Behaviourist theory of learning suggests, children gain a lot of their learning and confidence through positive reinforcement which is shown in this image (McLeod, 2007).
Reflections and implications: I feel proud of the young girl in this image by seeing her confidence and belief in herself. I plan to provide learning opportunities in the early childhood environment for my students to strengthen their sense of agency.
Image 4: Intrusive mode 18th Century
Construct of child: The victim child is portrayed here as well as the out of control child who is considered to leave the adult helpless due to his unruly behaviour (Sorin, 2005).
Perspectives: Despite the extra freedom evolving in the 'child' concept, the Intrusive mode was a time that used physical 'discipline' to control children's behaviours (Erikson, 1950).
Reflections and implications: No matter how helpless an educator feels with a child's behaviour, violent punishment is unacceptable and illegal. In the eary childhood years, educators can collaborate with children and their parents regarding the children's behaviour and learning paths.
Image 5: Socialising (18th Century) & Helping Mode (20th Century)
Construct of child: This noble/saviour construct is when a child takes on responsibilities and respectful tasks to help others (Sorin, 2003). The agentic construct is when a child has a strong sense of confidence and knowledge of their place in the world (Sorin, 2005).
Perspectives: This image can reflect the progression from the socialising mode to the helping mode , which was a progression of gradual adult respect childrens abilities in making a difference as children (DeMause, 2013). Both of these eras relate to the Socio-cultural learning theory where children development is through engagement by those around them and influenced to become active in their roles in the community (Kozlin etal, 2003). Paulo Friere's Critical theory of learning is also present here by the child being encouraged to attain deeper understandings of life (Williams, 1999).
Reflections and implications: Educators can inform children on how they can play active roles in their local and global community's that involve helping others. Activities in the classroom can also be carried out to enhance a child's sense of agency.
Image 8: Miniature Adult
Construct of child: This miniature adult construct is exactly as it says that child is considered to not be in a 'child' like state and acquire the role and responsibilities of an adult (Soren 2005).
Perspectives: The Socio-cultural learning theory is evident in this image as you can see the older sibling has learned her mature nurturing skills from her surrounding cultural environment.
Reflections and implications: There's something so sweet and heart warming about this image. I think it's because the older child appears to be genuinely content with playing the nurturing older sibling role. Similar to my reflection in the fifth image regarding the 'adult in training' I feel as an educator it's important to allow children to be children and make sure they get opportunities to play and explore. The Developmental learning theory supports this notion by indicating that a lot of learning and development is achieved through play (On Track, 2009).
Image 10 - Snowballing
Construct of child: The snowballing child construct indicates a lack of control by the parent due to the child increasingly becoming more and more out of control (Sorin, 2005)
Perspectives: This construct may occur when a child feels difficulties in their lives whether they be at home, school or in their community. Their misbehaviour is generally a way for them to express themselves and they may not realise why they are doing so in an inappropriate manner.
Reflections and implications: The expression on the adults face looks disapproving of the child's behaviour. I definitely feel the tension in this picture. If a child is misbehaving in the education environment I would like to take the approach of finding out what the root of their misbehaviour is. This can be achieved through several means suc as asking the child directly or discussing the issue with their parents.
Image source: Andrea Schroeder, 2013, Anne Geddes Galleries, Viewed July 2013 www.andrea-schroeder.com/AGeddes11.html
Image source: Guns for the children, 2011, Sponsor a child, Viewed July 2013 http://www.gunsforthechildren.org/sponsorachild.html
Image source: The culture concept circle, 2012, Artisans and artists during the renaissance golden age, Viewed July 2013 www.theculture
Historical/Contemporary context images
Social/Cultural context images
Image source: Online readings in psychology and culture, 2011, Older female siblings caring for younger children in the family, Viewed July 2013 www.scholarworks.gvsu.edu/orpc/
Image source: New world encyclopedia, 2013, Corporal punishment, Viewed July 2013 www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Corporal
Image source: Little hearts/gentle parenting resources, 2012, Better children better world, Viewed July 2013 www.littleheartsbooks.com/tag/rebellion/
Image Source: Youtube, 2011, Little Miss Sunchine, Viewed July 2013 www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-44SDd6pts
Cohn, S, L. (1988). Paulo Freire: The Man and His Educational Theory. Florida,
USA: Nova University
DeMause, L. (2013). The Evolution of Child Rearing Modes. Retrieved from www.archive
Erikson, E, H. (1950). Childhood and Society. New York, USA: Norton Publishing
Kozulin, A., Gindis, B., Ageyev, V, S. & Miller, S, M. (2003). Vygotsky's educational theory in
cultural context. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press
Helfer, M, E., Kempe, R, S., & Krugman, R, D. (1997). The Battered Child. Chicago, USA:
The University of Chicago Press
McKerrow, N. (2003). Patterns of Child-rearing. Retrieved from www.cyc-net.org/cyc-
McLeod, S. (2007). Skinner - Operant Conditioning. Retrieved from www.simplypsycho
On Track. (2009). Importance of Play. Retrieved from www.beststart.org/OnTrack_English/4-
Sorin, R. & Galloway, G. (2005). Constructs of childhood: constructs of self (pp. 12-21).
Children Australia, 31(2).
Williams, L. (1999). Overview of Critical Theory. Retrieved from www.perfectfit.org/CT/
Image Source: Namyangju Volunteer Center, 2013, Orphans www.na
Analysis of images of childhood
Early childhood education caters for many contrasting constructs
of childhood. Educators must take into account equity and diversity as well as have a deep understanding o how to work with children's differing personalities in order to achieve the best educational outcomes for children.