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This course is designed as a forum for thinking about what it means to care for children at the beginning of the 21st century. Consideration will be given to how issues such as poverty, changing family structures, substance abuse, community violence, and HIV/AIDS affect children, teachers and the curriculum. Students will critically examine the traditional knowledge base of childhood education and child development - and explore alternative lenses for viewing children. History, literature, philosophy and feminist theory will be used to reflect upon taken-for-granted assumptions about childhood. Students will learn how reading, writing and interpreting narrative can become an invaluable source for understanding themselves and the children in their care. Prerequisite: EDUC 500 or EDUC 501 or by permission of the instructor.