On Thursday the 7th November, Year 12 Sociology students visited the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green to learn more about our theme of childhood and how it has developed over time. We were fortunate enough to have a private session with one of the museum’s curators. We were able to see portraits of children in the 17th century before and after the boys had been breached (dressed in trousers for the first time from around the age of 6). We also looked at when gender neutral toys and clothes were first introduced to society.
Following our session, we were able to look around the museum itself. We completed a series of questions to help us with future work in class. We were able to see the development of clothes, dolls houses, action figures and other educational toys over time. It was fascinating to see how different childhood was centuries ago compared to now.
It was a relevant and enjoyable trip that will now support our future sociology studies.
By Evie Pettit
The sociology trip to the childhood museum was very informative and allowed the student to see how types of toys have progressed over the years. This trip aided the students in showing what the meaning of childhood is and whether it could be seen as a social construct. Some students found it strange to see some of their childhood toys on display at the museum but this only showed how rapidly society is progressing in terms of the digitalisation of toys. In the following lesson the students discussed how the trip related to the course and some students came up with the fact that it helped us understand why people may think that childhood is a social construct. Some students also came to the conclusion that childhood may not have been enjoyable for children in earlier centuries as children were dressed as miniature adults and were painted in that fashion. Overall, the trip was highly informative and many of the students agreed on the fact that the trip would be an amazing contemporary example to be used in their A Level examinations.
By Alaina Nwosa
On last week’s sociology trip to Bethnal Green – The Museum of Childhood – we were given an interesting talk by the curator of the museum, about the evolution of childhood toys and how they are stereotypical. We learnt that the marketing of the toys were stereotyped as blue for boys and pink for girls as a way to brand their products and sell more. After the talk we were assigned a task which entailed sorting a range of boys’ and girls’ toys which in fact proved harder than you may think and by the end of the talk we were very informed on the progression of childhood and how toys have played an instrumental part in the evolution of childhood.
By Luke Gibson and Morgan Peacock