Childhood Wellbeing: Play, Socialisation and Resilience

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
04 October 2018


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA L520 Childhood Studies,
BA L521 Childhood Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA L522 Childhood Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA L523 Childhood Studies (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

Childhood wellbeing has become one of the most important issues facing society in recent years. It is important for children because, in large part, it determines the quality of their childhood and their growth toward adulthood and agency. But it also says a good deal about adulthood. Arguably, the world we make for children represents the way adults understand, feel about and respond to children.

In this module, with a central focus on wellbeing and the domains of wellbeing, we will address three key related topics: play, socialisation and resilience. We will begin by exploring the concept of wellbeing across cultures, within National and International contexts. Then we will examine the idea of 'toxic childhood' which suggests childhood in the modern, technological, visual and internet-focused era has itself become a danger. At the same time, we appear to live in a highly risk-averse society where children are protected from independent engagement with elements of the 'outside' world. What impact can this double-bind have upon children and are they really safer and better protected than the child of the past?

We will also ask what role play has in regard to wellbeing? What is play, how do children utilise play and what does this mean for mental and physical health? Play appears to be something that takes place in the external world of activities and games, but play can also influence the inner world and the resources we need to draw upon in later life. Is there a relationship between play and socialisation, our capacity to be sensitively and co-operatively related to others? Finally, what is meant by 'resilience'? Over the last 10 years resilience theory and research has developed considerably but what are the implication of this and what can be done to promote resilience in children.

In studying these topics students will draw not only upon the literature, research and their experiences in
placement, but they will also have the opportunity to draw reflectively upon their own childhoods. What were the forces, familial, social and political, which influenced the childhoods which have, finally, led to very study of this topic? Such an understanding on oneself and one's career motivation is a cornerstone of reflective practice.


* To understand the meaning and importance of wellbeing as a focus for improving children's experiences
* To utilise wellbeing as a way to assess, plan for and support children's physical, social, emotional and mental health
* To learn about the relationship between play and socialisation
* To recognise that children possess considerable strengths and capacities and are active agents in their own lives and development
* To consider and utilise the research on risk and resilience when planning for children
* To reflective upon one's own childhood experiences

Learning Outcomes

* Students will have gained an understanding of children's wellbeing across cultures
* Students will recognise the interrelationship between political, economic, cultural and ideological context for wellbeing
* Students will be able to describe and evaluate the impact on children of modern technology, particularly that of screen and internet
* Students will recognise the importance of play in the development of the inner world
* Students will understand how the absence of appropriate play leads to restricted social and emotional development
* Students will have experience of a foster school where risk is celebrated, accepted and learned from
* Students will be reflective about their own early experiences and how these relate to professional life working with children

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

No information available.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

• Seminar one is a lecture • Seminar two is a discussion seminar • Two reflective groups to link personal narratives to the theory • There is also a field trip to a Forest school


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
from Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Student Administrator Room 4SB.6.2 telephone 01206 874969 email



External examiner

Dr Claudia Lapping
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

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