The M.A. Childhood Studies and Children's Rights was established through the project "European Network of Masters in Children’s Rights - Curriculum Development- ENMCR-CD", co-funded by the European Commission (2005-2008).
Independent experts’ comments on the project:
„The project is aiming on the realisation of a very important topic.”
“The planned ENMCR program has a very innovative approach. It closes a gap of professional education in the field of Children’s Rights. With its European Partners it represents not only a European dimension, but with its theme and its objectives it has also a global dimension. The planned curriculum is a good combination between theoretical knowledge, practical training and input from third parties (NGOs).”
The ENMCR CD-project developed a joint MA study program in Children’s Rights at five European universities. Children’s active and effective participation in societal processes is the core element. The MA is directed to graduates and to professionals working in the field of childhood and children’s rights.
The overall objectives are to:
- acquire human resources of higher learning education for policy and programme design and implementation and institution management
- produce knowledge, innovative methodology and tools for policies, strategies, direction
- organise and implement a professional technical service specialised in promotion and development of children’s rights projects.
- seven running MA study programmes with the award of a joint degree as well as
- an extended network of universities and organisations.
Special emphasis lies on the inclusion of Central East European HEI.
Interdisciplinarity of the program:
The Masters programmes is being delivered through various different subject areas: intercultural education, sociology, economics, political science, international development studies, social and behavioural science, childhood culture studies, philosophy, social anthropology, psychology and language. This makes it highly interdisciplinary in nature, which is an innovation as it covers a wider range of disciplines than already existing programmes on CR. The project aims at:
- linking research- led teaching and student’s projects
- linking students with the professional world (Practical orientation).
- consolidating the theoretical basis of professionals’ work as well as enhancing their academic and report-writing skills
- strengthening interdisciplinary children’s culture and providing a clear anchoring in the surrounding environment
- the promotion of immigrant’s CR, which as of yet have only been treated half-heartedly in childhood studies and studies in CR. A special focus will lie on language acquisition.
Linking of theory and practice in implementing the CRC in European and Extra-European countries – sharing experiences and outcomes:
- The project closely collaborates with the professional world both nationally and internationally. Especially International Organizations (NGOs) will play a role in the implementation of the MA by giving guest lectures and offering seminars. By this the students will acquire insight into the professional world and are more likely to be employed after graduation.
- The professionals, i.e. lifelong learners, taking the course are able to draw on their practical and applied experiences of working with children or within a CR framework, with the aim of generating socially validated scientific knowledge.
- Realization of workshops for planning projects relating to CR is planned.
- Establishment of contacts to institutions relevant to the realization of practical work. For example, close cooperation between the UCM and the Children’s Ombudsman in Madrid, as well as the regional government of Castilla-La Mancha and the Professional Association of Sociologists is established.
- So far, the modules taught at the partner institutions follow a relatively narrow, national, even regional focus. Through the linking of the MA in different European countries (including CEE-EU member states and candidate countries) and student and staff mobility, a European dimension of the subjects taught will be ensured. This will complement perspectives of the Latin American Network of Masters on Children’s Rights
- A shortage of professionals with advocacy skills is perceivable on EU-level as concerns CR. Namely in government documentation, CR issues are found only marginally. The project aims at providing students and professionals with advocacy skills in order to ensure CR at EU-level.
- The project will link onto the European HR policies and put an emphasis on social inclusion and integration from a CR perspective (closely linked to issues of the European Constitution)
- Encouraging the sharing of experiences and know-how with respect to the CRC in international development studies will contribute to develop a joint European policy towards children in the developing world
- Institutions from CEE and candidate countries will participate in some of the activities (Teacher's exchange, summer school Madrid, open conference Warsaw) with the aim of implementing the joint MA in the future.