CSI Students bring international child advocacy issues to the forefront in new course
April 1, 2015
Childhood and Social Institutions (CSI) students enrolled in the programs newest course International Perspectives on Child Advocacy presented their final projects to a panel of King’s faculty and staff Thursday March 26, 2015, in the Student Life Centre.
Social Justice and Peace Studies professor Dr. Allyson Larkin, Childhood and Social Institutions professors Dr. Sam Frankel, Dr. Alan Pomfret, Dr. Sally McNamee and Communication and Media Relations Manager Jane Antoniak composed the viewing panel for the students final presentations.
The course, which focuses on how and why issues regarding children come to be highlighted, takes a hands-on approach in enabling critical thinking about childhood and in particular advocacy campaigns.
Student’s final projects, which consisted of a background document, media campaign submission, follow-up strategy and final presentation to a panel, were asked to pick a child focused issue that incorporated children’s perspectives and voices, and to implement strategies in working with such a campaign.
As CSI professor Dr. Sally McNamee explains; “We asked the students to develop a campaign which reflects the ‘CSI’ approach to childhood, which incorporates seeing children as social agents, and hearing the voice of the child. It means working with children in a way that promotes social justice and children’s rights.”
The course; which is run by Dr. McNamee and visiting professor Dr. Sam Frankel; an honorary fellow of the University of Sheffield, said “We wanted a practical approach to the issue to give students some real life experience in developing an advocacy campaign” says Dr. McNamee. The intention was to enable students to utilize the knowledge and skills their program has taught them, and to see if any of the campaigns that students came up with were feasible.
“We wanted to see if this could actually roll out. There are a couple that I am really tempted to go and pitch to actual organizations,” says Frankel.
Students groups presented on a number of child advocacy issues, including child prostitution in South America, and child soldiers in Uganda.
Overall, the panel of judges was very impressed with all the student group’s presentations leaving the judges curious to see what future prospective students of the course will focus and present upon.