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A canal in Amsterdam.
Exploring childhood and youth in Amsterdam Sociology and Social Sciences

How does teaching in nurseries compare to the UK? How has childhood been constructed there? Is this different to our perceptions of what childhood looks like? Exploring these questions was the purpose of the recent Sociology and Social Sciences field trip to the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. We spoke to student Rachel Foxall about the trip and what she learned.

What was the purpose of the trip to Amsterdam?

The purpose of the trip to Amsterdam was to allow us to experience and understand the similarities and differences in other countries in relation to social and cultural issues in comparison to the UK.

What did you see and do?

We went to Leiden for a presentation about ‘Defence for children’ and ‘ECAPT (End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism) where they told us a bit about who they are and what they do for children. We also visited a nursery in Amsterdam where we got to see a different teaching approach compared to nurseries in the UK. The nursery taught toddlers and children languages and helped them to build their social and cognitive development, whereas in the UK toddlers and children are taught maths and English. I think this teaching approach was interesting and would probably be successful as it is believed children at the age of 5 are not ready to be learning maths and English. We also visited the Anne Frank house. At the end of trip, we explored the Rijksmuseum to look at the difference in the representation of children in paintings from medieval times to the 21st century.

Nursery in Amsterdam

What did you learn from the trip?

The actual experience of the day trips and viewing the culture in person is very different to reading or being taught about these topics in a classroom. It allowed me to view our legislation and schooling system from a different perspective after seeing a nursery in Amsterdam and their priorities regarding children and young people.

Whilst the trip was for learning purposes, it was also good to interact with people from different courses and make new friendships during the trip.

How has studying social sciences at Edge Hill University increased your awareness of other countries and cultures?

My course from both sides has increased my awareness about other countries and their cultures. From childhood and youth studies I have learnt about procedures from cultures that are socially acceptable to people from that culture, whereas in the UK some of these procedures such as FGM are illegal and might be viewed as child abuse to us. The criminology aspect of my course taught me that all countries have a different minimum age of criminal responsibility, which is affected by a countries culture and their construction of childhood.

How has studying your degree at Edge Hill University enhanced your employability?

Studying BA (Hons) Childhood & Youth Studies and Criminology at Edge Hill University has enhanced my employability because the type of job I want to do after graduation requires a degree with knowledge about young people and the issues that affect them today, as well as knowledge of the youth justice system.

A canal in Amsterdam.

March 23, 2023