There is urgent need for adults to re-think their ideas about childhood. Sociological approaches to childhood are needed as key contributions to improve basic conceptual thinking about how society works; as a matter of social justice; and as theoretical bases for educational reforms. Children have been traditionally understood in the education system as immature, incompetent, morally suspect pupils. Sociological thinking can help reconceptualize them as people to be respected; as knowledgeable, critical, competent participants in learning. Universities have an important role in providing opportunities for students to study sociological approaches to childhood.
About the Author
Berry Mayall is Professor of Childhood Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London.