This paper explores the work of an ongoing research project at University College Cork (UCC)
which has sought to further the understanding of students in the BA Early Childhood Studies
(BAECS) programme on issues of global diversity, set within childhood contexts. It tracks the
process of development of the project thus far, highlighting key teaching and learning insights.
The project has been developed in conjunction with members of the BAECS team in the School
of Applied Social Studies, UCC and the Hope Foundation, Cork and Kolkata (Calcutta). The rationale for the project arose through the experiences that students in our programme were having in applying aspects of theoretically based knowledge to placement contexts and reflective practices in increasingly diverse placement contexts. Beginning in 2007, teaching and learning materials were developed in the form of issue-based case studies based on the experiences of, and issues arising for, children with whom the Hope foundation are currently working in Kolkata. Development of materials involved the active participation of undergraduate students in a learning process whereby they are facilitated to deepen their understanding of how learning materials can be developed and of cultural and social diversity, in for instance areas of child trafficking, child labour and child abuse. In involving the students in a critical analysis and reflection of material development, it contributes to their understanding of issues relating to children┐s rights and facilitates their development as critical early years practitioners who are advocates for children.