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Health Studies
Jason Ramsay

MW170 HLTB – Children’s health and development Lecture 1 notes May 7, 2012 - Star trek reference, authorization failed - Email is [email protected] - No class reader, course content on intranet - 2 assignments and 1 final exam, tutorials, 30x2 + 30 + 10 - Death upon conversation with neighbor or in general - 0 tolerance policy for plagiarism - Email the TAs not the Prof - If you have problems ask a librarian - Lecture slides will be posted after lecture - 17 is a lucky number - Tutorial dates will be posted later on, aiming for 5 - No reader suitable, all articles are accessible from intranet or library resources - This course will examine childhood as a cultural institution, and overview of bio-psychosocial development - To examine environmental factors that influence development, global health threats to child health and welfare, to promote resilience in children, covering issues that face children. This is not a developmental psych course - This lecture: define the childhood infancy, describe the natural history of childhood, talk about where we are now, globally with respect to childhood, how this impacts the global health of children Childhood as a cultural artifact - Unlike infancy, childhood is a social/cultural artifact - Infancy is a biologically driven event with a genetically timed duration - Childhood is a different story. It can be longer or shorter depending on several factors The natural history of childhood: - Neil postman, the disappearance of childhood - Greeks had no real world for child in the ancient world, they did invent schooling, but children’s lives were precarious - Plato: “threats and blows like a piece of warped wood” - Little concept of “child” as a category separate from “adult” in the middle ages What constitutes childhood as a concept? - Concept of shame - Children are defined as a class of people who must be sheltered from adult secrets - Sexual secrets - This connects the concept of children as a group that requires special protection from adults Roman law: protection - AD 374, law forbidding infanticide - Practice used to be acceptable The middle ages - Fall of the roman era due to barbarians - Postman points out 4 points regarding the middle ages and the concept of the child - Literacy disappears, pedagogy, shame, childhood as well Disappearance of literacy - Did not completely disappear - Social literacy was gone for 1000 years - Craft literacy remained, ie monks and scribes - Reading speed was slow Implications for illiteracy - Business affairs were conducted annually - All social interactions were face to face - Entertainment was aural - Knowledge acquired by ear - All was talk and song Implications for childhood - Oral language develops much faster than written literacy - Childhood shrank down to the early years - If you could speak the kings language you an adult - Adult age at 7 - In a literate world, children must become adults through learning to read and there are mysteries and secrets Implications, illustrated by brugel - Unwillingness to hide nothing from children - Absence of civility, albeit being pious and religious - Did not have the same concept of private space - Not repelled by human behavior and odors - Not ashamed of bodily functions - No evidence of toilet training Medieval chil
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