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ECED820 – Families in Context

2017 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Fay Hadley
Contact via fay.hadley@mq.edu.au
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MTeach(Birth to Five Years) or MEChild or MEd or PGDipEdS or MIndigenousEd or MSpecEd or PGCertSpEd or GradCertEChild
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
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 family values in the 21st century. Drawing on a variety of resources, including diverse 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 contemporary experiences and practices of families and children in Australia and abroad.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. To explore diverse contexts in and perspectives on ways in which families function.
  2. To reflect on personal experiences and how these shape perspectives.
  3. To source credible and scholarly research concerning families to inform practice and generate new understandings and knowledge.
  4. To highlight and critically analyse a range of social, cultural and political perspectives/influences on family life.
  5. To consider ways in which awareness of families in context can facilitate/support early childhood teaching practice.
  6. To explore the online environment and contribute effectively and respectfully.
  7. To engage in active and critical reflective practice about working with diverse families.

General Assessment Information

Assessment presentation

Please follow these guidelines when you submit each assignment:

  • Allow a left and right-hand margin of at least 2cm in all assignments.
  • Please type all assignments using 12-point font and 1.5 spacing.
  • All assessments must be submitted through turnitin in .doc or .pdf format for submission.
  • Faculty assignment cover sheets are NOT required for this unit.

Draft Submissions & Turnitin Originality Reports

  • Students may use Turnitin’s Originality Report as a learning tool to improve their academic writing if this option is made available in the unit.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to upload a draft copy of each assessment to Turnitin at least one week prior to the due date to obtain an Originality Report.
  • The Originality Report provides students with a similarity index that may indicate if plagiarism has occurred. Students will be able to make amendments to their drafts prior to their final submission on the due date.
  • Only one Originality Report is generated every 24 hours up to the due date.

When preparing your assignments, it is essential that:

  • Students must retain a copy of all assignments before submission, and retain the copy until your final grade for the subject has been received;
  • Marks will be deducted if you submit your assessment late (refer to the ‘late assessments’ section below for more details);
  • Unless there are exceptional circumstances, no assessment will be accepted after the date that the assessment has been returned to other students.
  • If an assessment is considered to be below passing standard, another staff member on the unit will provide a second opinion. No failed assessment may be re-submitted.

Final Submissions

•          Students are responsible for checking that their submission has been successful and has been submitted by the due date and time.

•          Late submissions due to last minute technical difficulties will incur a lateness penalty.

Assignment extensions and late penalties

Applications for extensions must be made via AskMQ at https://ask.mq.edu.au as a "Disruption to Studies" request before the submission date. Students who experience a disruption to their studies through ill-health or misadventure are able to apply for this request. Extensions can only be granted if they meet the Disruption to Studies policy and are submitted via ask.mq.edu.au. This will ensure consistency in the consideration of such requests is maintained.

In general, there should be no need for extensions except through illness or misadventure that would be categorised as unavoidable disruption according to the University definition of same, and currently available at: http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/exams/disruption_to_studies/

Late submissions without extension will receive a penalty of 5% reduction of the total possible mark for each day late (including weekends and public holidays). You are reminded that submitting even just 1 day late could be the difference between passing and failing a unit. Late penalties are applied by unit convenors or their delegates after tasks are assessed.

No assessable work will be accepted after the return/release of marked work on the same topic. If a student is still permitted to submit on the basis of unavoidable disruption, an alternative topic may be set.

Students should keep an electronic file of all assessments. Claims regarding "lost" assessments cannot be made if the file cannot be produced. It is also advisable to keep an electronic file of all drafts and the final submission on a USB untouched/unopened after submission. This can be used to demonstrate easily that the assessment has not been amended after the submission date.

Referencing:

All assignments should cite and provide full bibliographical details of all material that you have used to inform or support your ideas. Early childhood students are required to use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing procedures. Full details about how to cite and reference correctly can be found in Perrin (2015) and in the Academic Honesty Handbook. All students will need to download this guide and use it as they prepare their assignment.

Compulsory text

Perrin, R. (2015). Pocket guide to APA style (5th ed.). Wadsworth: Cengage Learning.

Academic Honesty

The University defines plagiarism in its rules:  "Using the work or ideas of another person and presenting this as your own without clear acknowledgement of the source of the work or ideas.” Plagiarism is a serious breach of the University's rules and carries significant penalties. Students must read the University's practices and procedures on plagiarism.  These can be found on the web at: http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

The policies and procedures explain what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, the procedures that will be taken in cases of suspected plagiarism, and the penalties if you are found guilty.  Penalties may include a deduction of marks, failure in the unit, and/or referral to the University Discipline Committee.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Assign 1 20% 19th March and 21st May
Assign 2 40% 24th April
Assign 3 40% 8th June

Assign 1

Due: 19th March and 21st May
Weighting: 20%

Task 1: On-Line participation (5 marks)

This task requires you to participate in the Unit iLearn private mail and discussion forum to assist in building your confidence with the on-line learning systems. By 19th March you will need to:

  1. Find out and use effectively your username and password to access the ECED 820 iLearn site.
  2. Explore iLearn and understand how to access the recorded lectures (through the ECHO block).
  3. Download the unit outline (from iLearn) and read it. Any questions about the unit outline should be posted in the discussion titled "Questions about the unit outline".
  4. Make yourself familiar with the information about this unit in iLearn. In particular read all information in the assessment section so you understand the university policy on plagiarism.
  5. Make one contribution to the iLearn Discussion tagged as “Who am I?” Each student is to post a brief note of 500 words or less about themselves and their interest in exploring families.
  6. Send an email by 6th March to Fay Hadley through iLearn Dialogue: Private communications with your tutor or other students telling her that you have successfully gained access to the iLearn system, have worked out how to listen to the recorded lectures in echo, have downloaded and read the unit outline, have made yourself familiar with iLearn and have completed the discussion task “Who am I”. Do not send this to my university email.

Criteria for assessment: (5 marks)

  1. Effective use of Unit webpage and discussion board
  2. Email to Fay via iLearn dialogue
  3. Ability to contribute to online discussion posting “Who am I” with professionalism and clarity

Task 2: On-Line discussions (15 marks) Due 21st May

The on-line discussions for each module will form an important part of students’ developing understandings and critical interpretation of key readings for each Learning Module.  Students should see the Discussions as an opportunity to express responses to readings, ideas and questions that arise during the course of the unit, as well as receiving feedback from other students enrolled in the unit.

Students are invited to contribute online postings based on their learning in each Module.  There are some key questions to guide students’ learning with each Module. Your postings can be in response to these questions but are not limited to these. Independent and creative thinking by students on any matters raised during each Module is welcomed. 

  • There are 11 modules and students must post a discussion on at least 5 of these modules
  • Students must respond to at least 5 other students’ posts, these responses do not have to be in the same week you have posted a discussion.
  • The posting must occur by the end of the week the module is set for or the student will not receive a mark for that posting. So for example all postings for week 2 would need to be completed by Sunday 12th March no later than 12pm.
  • The posting needs to also include one other reading (peer reviewed journal article or seminal report) with a short description of the main point of the reading. The reading needs to be referenced in APA style.
  • There is however no limit on how many or how often you write postings online for each module.
  • General feedback from the unit coordinator will be posted in these Discussion forums.

On-line postings are individual in nature and might, for example, offer engaging points of discussion or useful insights/alternative perspectives on focus topics. The structure and content of your posting will depend on the point(s) that you wish to make and your purpose (i.e., whether you are seeking other students’ thoughts/feedback, or wanting to offer relevant personal experiences, etc.). Postings should also provide comments/thoughts on set readings - NOT a summary of content.

 

Students must select 5 postings and 5 responses and compile into one word assignment. Students will need to show clearly which module the post relates to and which module and discussion post the response relates to (this may require students to screen shot the iLearn page). This is to be submitted through turnitin.

Posting Guidelines

In order for on-line discussions to effectively contribute to students’ learning on the unit, the following guidelines should be considered:

  1. Each posting can be between 100 - 300 words; but definitely no longer than 500 words.
  2. Postings should reflect students’ understanding of topics studied, on the basis of set readings and your other appropriate source. You can respond to the questions posted in the module OR provide your own reflection.
  3. If postings include the expression of personal opinions, ideas or perspectives they should, where possible, be supported by relevant literature.
  4. Informed answers and/or responses to questions posed, based on course readings which are appropriately referenced.
  5. A single question in itself will not be regarded as a sufficient contribution; some background to the comment/question should be provided in order to stimulate further discussion.
  6. APA in text referencing should be included when citing or commenting on a reading or citing sourced evidence.

Criteria for assessment: (15 marks)

  • Level of participation in discussions – demonstration of engagement with peers by stimulating and adding to ongoing discussions.
  • Provided discussion in 5 modules and in the timeframe set.
  • Provided 5 responses to other students’ posts and in the timeframe set.
  • Clarity of written communication.
  • Correct APA referencing

This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • To explore diverse contexts in and perspectives on ways in which families function.
  • To reflect on personal experiences and how these shape perspectives.
  • To highlight and critically analyse a range of social, cultural and political perspectives/influences on family life.
  • To explore the online environment and contribute effectively and respectfully.
  • To engage in active and critical reflective practice about working with diverse families.

Assign 2

Due: 24th April
Weighting: 40%

Major Essay  based on the analysis of selected topic(s)  focusing on Families Images and the Role of the Media (2000 words)

The purpose of this assignment is to promote critical analysis of portrayal of families in the media with reference to the academic literature on families. For the assignment, you are required to collect one or more media artefacts that reflect a particular aspect of “family” in contemporary society. These ‘artefacts’ may be a YouTube video or an article from a newspaper or a popular magazine or a collection of 2-3 images of families from one type of media or an episode from a TV series.  It should act as a stimulus or focus point for a specific area of discussion based on one of the modules (about families) identified in this unit.

Using your readings and studies in this unit, you are required to construct a critical analysis of perspectives presented in your selected media image(s). Use the selected media image(s) to argue

  1. How the media influences and/or reflects public perceptions of families.
  2. How the media examples you have chosen impact on the family module you have selected. Clearly identify the topic or Module that your essay is targeting.
  3. The relevance of this type of media for your work. Your work or profession could include you as an early childhood professional, school teacher or policy maker.  Please make it clear what profession your discussion is referring to.

Ensure that your analysis is constructed with reference to scholarly, evidence-based perspectives on theories and concepts of families.

Assessment Criteria

Your overall mark on this assignment will be based on the following:

  • Clear definition of your topic/Module of interest and key arguments presented in your assignment.
  • Use of scholarly theories and concepts of family in constructing a critical analysis of readings used to inform your discussion.
  • Quality of discussion about the relevance of the media example and the module/topic
  • Quality of discussion about the relevance in promoting sensitivity when working with children and their families in the profession you have outlined.
  • A well-constructed analysis in APA style that is linked to your learning in this unit.

This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • To explore diverse contexts in and perspectives on ways in which families function.
  • To source credible and scholarly research concerning families to inform practice and generate new understandings and knowledge.
  • To highlight and critically analyse a range of social, cultural and political perspectives/influences on family life.
  • To engage in active and critical reflective practice about working with diverse families.

Assign 3

Due: 8th June
Weighting: 40%

Philosophy paper  - reflections on working with families (2000 words)

In Australia, under the National Quality Standard (NQF) (ACECQA 2011) new regulations and standards have been developed for assessing the quality of centres providing early childhood care and education. Quality Area 6 is titled “Collaborative partnerships with families and communities” (p. 145) and is based on the premise that such relationships are “fundamental to achieve quality outcomes for children.”  Primary schools are also now being encouraged to think deeply about developing partnerships with families as strong parent involvement is linked to better educational outcomes for children.

Reflect on the material covered in this unit to date and consider what key elements or principles you would want to communicate to families and staff in a service (eg long day care centre, school, family support agency, family service etc).

  1. Write an introductory statement outlining your vision in relation to ‘collaboration with families’ for your centre, school, agency or service. 
  2. List 5-8 principles that elaborate on the vision statement and that address the key elements that you consider important. These might include how you communicate with families, their rights, responsibilities, diversity or supporting and sharing with families.
  3. Explain the rationale for each principle chosen in relation to vision statement. Your discussion will make reference to supporting evidence from the materials covered in the unit and/or additional readings.

A key expected learning outcome of this unit is students’ enhanced awareness of and sensitivity to diversity in families. In order to maintain engagement in all the topics presented, and with the assessment tasks it will be necessary for students to reflect on issues raised at tutorials and/or in the on-line discussions on a weekly basis. These reflections would best be recorded in a notebook or collection of notes in a style that suits individual students. Such a notebook will not be assessed but could be particularly helpful for Assessment Task #3 as it comes at the end of the teaching weeks for this unit.

Assessment Criteria:

Your overall mark for Assessment task 3 will be based on the following:

  • A clearly articulated statement of position or philosophy concerning ‘collaboration with families’
  • Several (5 -8) principles that elaborate on the statement of philosophy and that address key relevant elements for your centre, school, classroom or service.
  • A clearly articulated rationale for each principle chosen  in relation to the vision statement.
  • The assignment shows clear evidence of integrated learning across the material, discussions and reflections covered in this unit, and the ability to apply this understanding and knowledge to an early childhood context.  Appropriately cited evidence (literature and research) is used to support all aspects of the assignment.

This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • To explore diverse contexts in and perspectives on ways in which families function.
  • To reflect on personal experiences and how these shape perspectives.
  • To source credible and scholarly research concerning families to inform practice and generate new understandings and knowledge.
  • To consider ways in which awareness of families in context can facilitate/support early childhood teaching practice.
  • To engage in active and critical reflective practice about working with diverse families.

Delivery and Resources

 Textbook:

TEXTBOOK: There is no set textbook for the unit. You will have weekly readings and some additional readings recommended.  

To learn about APA referencing and academic writing

Perrin, R. (2011). Pocket guide to APA style (5th ed). Boston, USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Recommended additional textbooks

  • Australian context

Grace, R., & Hodge, K., & McMahon, C. (Eds.) (2016). Children, families and communities. (5th Edn), South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • To explore diverse contexts in and perspectives on ways in which families function.
  • To reflect on personal experiences and how these shape perspectives.
  • To source credible and scholarly research concerning families to inform practice and generate new understandings and knowledge.
  • To highlight and critically analyse a range of social, cultural and political perspectives/influences on family life.
  • To consider ways in which awareness of families in context can facilitate/support early childhood teaching practice.

Assessment tasks

  • Assign 1
  • Assign 2
  • Assign 3

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • To explore diverse contexts in and perspectives on ways in which families function.
  • To reflect on personal experiences and how these shape perspectives.
  • To source credible and scholarly research concerning families to inform practice and generate new understandings and knowledge.
  • To highlight and critically analyse a range of social, cultural and political perspectives/influences on family life.
  • To consider ways in which awareness of families in context can facilitate/support early childhood teaching practice.
  • To engage in active and critical reflective practice about working with diverse families.

Assessment tasks

  • Assign 1
  • Assign 2
  • Assign 3

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • To explore diverse contexts in and perspectives on ways in which families function.
  • To source credible and scholarly research concerning families to inform practice and generate new understandings and knowledge.
  • To highlight and critically analyse a range of social, cultural and political perspectives/influences on family life.

Assessment tasks

  • Assign 2
  • Assign 3

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • To reflect on personal experiences and how these shape perspectives.
  • To highlight and critically analyse a range of social, cultural and political perspectives/influences on family life.
  • To explore the online environment and contribute effectively and respectfully.

Assessment task

  • Assign 1

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • To source credible and scholarly research concerning families to inform practice and generate new understandings and knowledge.
  • To explore the online environment and contribute effectively and respectfully.

Assessment tasks

  • Assign 1
  • Assign 2
  • Assign 3

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • To explore diverse contexts in and perspectives on ways in which families function.
  • To reflect on personal experiences and how these shape perspectives.
  • To source credible and scholarly research concerning families to inform practice and generate new understandings and knowledge.
  • To highlight and critically analyse a range of social, cultural and political perspectives/influences on family life.
  • To consider ways in which awareness of families in context can facilitate/support early childhood teaching practice.
  • To engage in active and critical reflective practice about working with diverse families.

Assessment tasks

  • Assign 1
  • Assign 3