Youth & Children's Studies
Youth & Children's Studies at the Brantford Campus
What is a child? What is a youth? And what does it mean to be a child or a youth in the contemporary world? Laurier’s honours program in Youth and Children’s Studies uses these questions as the basis for an exploration into the worlds and issues of children and youth.
In order to truly understand children and youth in the 21st century, we need to examine the many worlds they inhabit: school, home, cultural and religious groups, peer groups, neighbourhoods, media communities, and even “brand tribes.” This program looks at children and youth from many different perspectives, using tools from psychology, criminology, media studies, indigenous studies, health studies, literature, and history. The program looks at children and youth not just as objects of academic inquiry, but as subjects and agents in their own right, who engage with and impact the wider world around them.
|High School Admission Requirements||College Grad Admission Requirements|
4U English at 60%
Average in top 6 4U or M courses: low - mid 70s
4U English or college equivalent at 60%
Overall average upon graduation: low - mid 70s
Students will graduate with a deep and rigorous understanding of issues relating to children and youth now and in the past, and will have a range of skills that will help them approach contemporary social, cultural, educational, legal and health issues that face children, and those who work with them, today. Graduates of the program will be well positioned for a career in education, either with further study in a Faculty of Education program or in other areas that are growing due to the provincial government’s new emphasis on early child development in Ontario. Youth and Children’s Studies also provides an excellent basis for future study and work in social work, family law, social services, and children’s advocacy.
Beginning in 1950 and up until very recently, North American children went door-to-door Trick or Treating for UNICEF every Halloween. Dr. Tarah Brookfield is a historian who studies the history of childhood and family, with a specialty in child welfare during wartime. “UNICEF’s Halloween campaign was one of many programs dedicated to improving children’s health and safety after the Second World War,” says Brookfield. “It represented a new international commitment to child rights and is part of a long tradition of using children to inspire charitable giving.”
Brookfield is interested in understanding how war affects children’s lives and the definition of childhood, a concept that has fluctuated over the centuries. Students in Brookfield’s course, Children and Youth Through the Ages, will be asked to compare and contrast what it meant to grow up in Ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Colonial America and present day Canada. “Of course, growing up as a Roman boy from a noble family in the 5th century BC was very different than being an enslaved African American girl during the US Civil War,” Brookfield explains. “Yet in both cases there would be a shared experience of being treated differently than an adult because of their age and size.”