2022 Abstracts Stage 3

Is the concept of moral development considered a key factor within the field of education or is its importance misunderstood?

Moral development is a highly important factor within childhood and adolescence and requires intense focus and interest in order to produce a well-rounded, virtuous adult in later life who knows how to properly differentiate between good and bad and right and wrong. However, the source of this focus and interest is key to the outcome. During childhood, a large proportion of time is spent in education meaning most of the interactions children have come from academic professionals and their peers, meaning this is where they will effectively develop their morals and virtues, but is there a risk mainstream education will prioritise academic education instead of the pastoral side?

2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Should Approaches Influenced by Transcendental and Existential Phenomenology be Utilised More in Children and Adolescent Psychotherapy?

For my project I am going to be conducting a meta-analysis in order to answer a question very close to my heart, of whether Transcendental and Existential Phenomenology should be utilised more in Children and Adolescent Psychotherapy, a career I plan to train towards post-university. Through the application of Husserl and Heidegger’s phenomenology to psychotherapy, I will be challenging whether or not children and adolescents have the capability to identify a self-responsibility while being wholly dependent on their families, or to consciously comprehend transcendentalism enough to help them cope with mental struggles.

2012 Abstracts Stage 2

Mummy’s little monster … Can a child be born evil, or are they only made so by adults?

My aim is to explore the question of whether a child can be born purely evil, or whether they can only be made so by adults. I first compared philosopher’s views on the concept of evil whilst also exploring the issue of the age of criminal responsibility in respect to ethics. My territory was the ethical debates behind the treatment of child offenders and debating whether the age of criminal responsibility is correct.

The object I used is the novel and 2011 film We need to talk about Kevin. It is a novel about the relationship between a successful business woman named Eva and her son Kevin, a 16 year old boy who kills seven fellow students at school. The novel tackles the issue of nature vs nurture, asking whether a child can be predisposed to being ‘evil’ and with the intent to kill, or whether a parent’s shortcomings can shape their child and potentially lead them to evil actions.

I looked at the idea of responsibility, both moral and legal, and whether the age of responsibility is ethically sound or not. The fact that the defence of infancy age differs widely from country to country, from as high as 18 in Columbia, to no defence of age at all in Saudi Arabia. suggests that the law is highly debatable.

I looked primarily at the ethics concepts of Kant and Hobbes, comparing Hobbesian ethics laid down in his Leviathan, and Kant’s deontological ethical views with the Groundwork of the metaphysic of morals. I chose to look at Kantian ethics because of his strong claim that one is only responsible for what is under one’s control. Additionally, Hobbes has strong ethical views on authority, which can be linked with the idea of a parental control and also with the age of legal responsibility. Hobbes and Kant both also hold strong different views on why we obey laws in the first place, along with views on freewill and determinism, which ties in with the nature vs. nurture debate.

2008 Abstracts Stage 3

Are British Children in Trouble? A study of the UNICEF survey 2007 – An Overview of Child Well-Being in Rich Countries

“A true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children – their health and safety, their material security, their education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued, and included in the families and societies into which they are born.” (UNICEF, 2007) • So why is Britain supposedly the worst place to bring up children? • Have things changed and worsened in the past hundred years, or is it just media hype? • What can be done to improve the upbringing of children? I focussed on children’s relationships, looking at how the family structure has changed, using Hegel as a historical comparison from the Enlightenment. I also looked at children’s subjective well-being, seeing how children in Britain view their health, school life and personal self worth. I then saw how consumerism and contemporary society affects the formation of a child’s identity. I used MacIntyre, Taylor and Giddens’ concept of narrative identity.

2008 Abstracts Stage 3

How is the dialectic relationship between imagination and reality revealed in the nature of toys?

I wish to show through this project how it is in imagination, that we discover the truth about reality. This process of discovery happens in the earliest stages of childhood through a child’s awareness of the physical objects around them and what these mean. This awareness of reality later develops to a state of ‘play’. It is in the free state of play that a child first explores their ability for creation. The link between imagination and reality shifts from childhood to adulthood. What I wish to explore is the nature of this link and ask whether it ceases in childhood or whether it continues by later revealing itself in other forms of creative arts. I will explore whether creation in any art form can reveal truth about our own reality and further still even shape it? Can creative play in childhood reveal truth about our being in the world?

2006 Abstracts Stage 2

How has the shift from Postmodern to Modern ideas of identity affected the education system for 5-11 year olds?

Object: My experience as a toddler of being punished for adding paint to the water pot rather than paper • Want to research into educational psychology—Piaget • Begin by looking at Philosophical concepts—The concept of the individual in Postmodern and Modern society • I will look at thinkers such as Descartes and Gilbert Ryle • How do children think and learn? • How does the change in ideas of identity affect the educational system today? Relate to the recent changes in education—coming into force in September, focusing on skills rather than a curriculum based system and Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning • Relate to Every Child Matters