How Theory & Beliefs Shape Your Thinking About Childhood

When you work with children, you’re not working in a vacuum. Our work is constructed within the context of our experiences and the beliefs we develop from these experiences. Our lives are¬†affected by our families, friends, and coworkers, but also, the larger social worlds in which we live.

It’s next to impossible to experience life in a social bubble, as our lives are increasingly connected not only by physical location, but through the virtual connections of the Internet, television, and online media. Therefore, as we think critically about the work we do with children, we must consider the connections between our personal experiences, our beliefs, the theoretical context, and the work being done by others in the field.

These connections require us to consider how our work is informed by important questions:

  • How do you define childhood? How do you believe children should be treated in society?
  • How do your beliefs about what it means to be a child relate to sociological theories about childhood?
  • What theories/beliefs do you notice being taken up in your field? How do your theories/beliefs compare?
  • How will your beliefs about childhood affect the work you do with children?