Subject details

  • Topics
    • Introduction to the unit
    • Families: definitions, contexts and theoretical orientations
    • Developing a philosophical approach to working with families
    • Media portrayal of families
    • Family formation through assisted reproductive technologies
    • Indigenous perspectives - kinship ties
    • Recent arrivals: children from immigrant and refugee backgrounds
    • Children with parents who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)
    • Revisit philosophy module
    • Families with members with disabilities
    • Children from families identified as 'at risk':Divorce, Remarriage, Single-Parent families, Isolated families from metropolitan & rural/regional areas
    • Reflections on the learning from this unit
    • Research and study of families: multidisciplinary perspectives
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Blog
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Embedded Multimedia
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
      • Standard Media
      • Web links

At the completion of this subject 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.  consider ways in which awareness of families in context can facilitate/support early childhood teaching practice
  6. explore the online environment and contribute effectively and respectfully
  7. engage in active and critical reflective practice about working with diverse families.
  • Assignment 1 - Assignment 1 (20%)
  • Assignment 2 - Assignment 2 (40%)
  • Assignment 3 - Assignment 3 (40%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

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

  • MAQ-ECEX820

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as ECEX820 Families in Context.

The overarching aim of this subject is to examine the implications of diversity in family values and the value of family across a range of contexts. Over the degree of the subject, 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.

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