This course explores current issues and policies affecting children and their families from historical, cultural and feminist perspectives. Through the sharing of critical incidents, students are encouraged to examine and enhance their skills in communicating with and supporting families.
The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:
- Early childhood educators work cooperatively with children and family members as listener, communicator, supporter, facilitator, guide and problem solver. The development of effective skills for relating interpersonally is essential to a reflective practitioner.
- Early childhood educators recognize key elements about the nature of families: families are diverse in patterns and structure; families have strengths; families are a unique system within the context of other systems; and families are constantly changing.
- In the role of early childhood educator, one facilitates collaboration with families at all levels of service provision.
- Understanding and valuing diversity means that all children and families are encouraged to develop their full potential and are appreciated for their individual gifts and abilities, culture, race, gender, ethnicity, age, and social class.
- Early childhood education has a long, rich tradition of parent involvement. The early childhood educator is knowledgeable about the history and philosophy of working in partnership with families.
Means of Assessment
The course evaluation is consistent with Douglas College evaluation policy. An evaluation schedule is presented at the beginning of the course. This is a graded course.
Test or Reports of the Readings
Resources Research Report
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Demonstrate Professional Accountability and Skills:
- Understand the assumptions, practices and skills embedded in the history and philosophy of working in partnership with families,
- Professional Skills - works cooperatively with children and family members as listener, communicator, supporter, facilitator, guide and problem solver. Develops effective interpersonal skills,
- Reflect on professional role,
- Examines own values, beliefs and attitudes in regard to working with families,
- Shows a willingness to accept and work with apparent differences.
- Appreciates limitations of self and of role.
Demonstrate Professional Relationships:
- Consider relationship between individual development and family dynamics.
- Family Systems understands and recognizes key elements about the nature of families: families are diverse in patterns and structure; families have strengths; families are a unique system within the context of other systems; and families are constantly changing.
- Think critically about families in context:
- examines families from macro and micro perspectives
- articulates impact of gender, culture and socio economics on families
- identifies potential impact of abuse issues within families
- identifies potential impact of stress issues on families, e.g., abuse, addictions, mental health, family breakdown
- recognizes the impact of social networks on families and young children
- respects diversity
Partnerships and Recognize Inclusive Practices:
- Inclusion - believes in the equality of all people regardless of ability, ethnicity, sex, culture or temperament.
- Inclusion - promotes opportunities for children and families of different abilities, ethnicity, gender, culture, age, and temperament to grow together in an environment of mutual respect.