Singapore University of Social Sciences

Childhood: Global Perspectives

Childhood: Global Perspectives (ECE368)


ECE368 is an elective course that focuses on understanding Singapore as a changing society with changing family structures and values that impact on the nature of childhood. The course is framed by a sociological and international perspective and provides a platform for discussing and considering implications for effective and inclusive educational policy and practice in Singapore. Connections are once again made to the UNCRC to explore ways in which Singapore has catered to the best interests of young children through the provision of services, protection of children, and the encouragement of child participation in our society. Direct relevance to pedagogical considerations include, but are not limited to: teacher decisions about materials, curricula topics, language use, time use, routines and care practices, relationship building and collaborations with families, other health and educational professionals that support young children/families, and partnership with primary schools.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done ENTIRELY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. There are no face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • The changing social fabric of Singapore and implications on childhood (e.g., immigration, divorce, widening income gap, foreign domestic help, and elitism)
  • Historically evolving notions of childhood and the image of the young child
  • Young children in a changing world: major risk and protective factors
  • How urban settings influence child development, socialisation and child agency
  • Children’s culture (e.g., media and literature, and myths and discourses)
  • Role of early childhood care and education (ECCE) in our society and implications for learning and development
  • Dilemmas in the care and education context
  • Community-based ECCE programmes
  • Interdisciplinary issues and considerations in ECCE provision
  • Consumerism in society and children’s media
  • Promoting social justice in ECCE centres and classrooms
  • Implications for curriculum and pedagogy

Learning Outcome

  • Examine changes in childhood in relation to societal changes and expectations
  • Discuss the strengths and limitations of the UNCRC assumptions about young children
  • Illustrate ways in which childhood is shaped by global and local contexts
  • Analyse a centre’s curricular and pedagogical choices in relation to childhood diversity and the UNCRC
  • Propose strategies to include the child’s voice within the centre
  • Plan learning experiences for children from diverse backgrounds
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