Families in Context - 2017

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sess 1
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Online Comm. and Posting (20%) , Assignment 2 - Essay (Role of Media) (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 1,986.00
HECS 793.00
International 2,236.00

This unit was previously known as ECEX820 Families in Context.

The overarching aim of this unit is to examine the implications of diversity in family values and the value of family across a range of contexts. Over the course of the unit, we will consider the role of socio-cultural, economic and political contexts in shaping family life and values in the 21st century. Drawing on a variety of resources, including media, academic publications and reflections on personal experiences, we will explore changing family lives and the extent to which traditional, largely Western-based, images of “family” life reflect the daily experiences/practices of families and children in Australia and abroad.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. explore diverse contexts in and perspectives on ways in which families function
  2. reflect on personal experiences and how these shape perspectives on working with children and families
  3. source credible and scholarly research concerning families to inform practice and generate new understandings and knowledge
  4. highlight and critically analyse a range of social, cultural and political perspectives/influences on family life. Consider ways in which awareness of families in context can facilitate/support early childhood teaching practice
  5. explore the online environment and contribute effectively and respectfully
  6. engage in active and critical reflective practice about working with diverse families.
  • Assignment 1 — Online Comm. and Posting (20%)
  • Assignment 2 — Essay (Role of Media) (40%)
  • Assignment 3 — Philosophy paper (1500 words) (40%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • ECEX820 — Families in Context

Admission to the Master of Teaching (Birth to Five Years)

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient
  • Other special requirement — Access to a digital camera, or mobile phone or tablet with camera capability. Basic computer tools such as Microsoft Word and Powerpoint.

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to the unit
2Families: definitions, contexts and theoretical orientations
3Media portrayal of families
4Research and study of families: multidisciplinary perspectives
5Recent arrivals: children from immigrant and refugee backgrounds
6Family formation through assisted reproductive technologies
7Children with parents who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)
8Developing a philosophical approach to working with families
9Indigenous perspectives - kinship ties
10Families with members with disabilities
11Children from families identified as 'at risk':Divorce, Remarriage, Single-Parent families, Isolated families from metropolitan & rural/regional areas
12Revisit philosophy module
13Reflections on the learning from this unit

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Blogs
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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