This course explores the nature of families, their commonalities and diversity. This course will give you the opportunity to reflect upon your own personal experience of family in order that you might identify the attitudes, values, beliefs and feelings you bring to your work with families. An emphasis on family strengths, natural support networks, and the challenges of family life cycles will provide practitioners with a perspective from which to begin their working relationships with families. Societal forces, including family life and child rearing patterns, key historic and contemporary influences (social, political, and professional) in early childhood education will be examined.
- Families have strengths. A recognition and appreciation of the strengths of families affects the nature of collaboration.
- Each family is a unique system within a context of other interlocking systems – individuals, other families, communities, cultures, religions, education, work, economic, etc.
- Collaboration in our work with each other encourages each individual and each family to utilize personal and familial power. Families have natural support systems and families working together can create additional support systems. Practitioners provide support from the perspective of family centred care.
- Diversity occurs within and between individuals, families, communities, professionals and professions engaged in work with families. Respect and appreciation of diversity creates a meeting ground, a commonality.
- We all come from families. Reflection on our own families is a source of knowledge about the family. This reflection may raise issues for each of us as we come to terms with our own life experience.
- Families are constantly changing. As we understand change and development in families, we are more accepting of ourselves and supportive of others in our early childhood field of practice.
- Social, political or economic developments impact change in families and programs for young children.
Methods Of Instruction
- Small group work
- Guest speakers
- Audio-visual presentations
Means of Assessment
This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.
Examples of methods of evaluations include the following:
- Family Life Cycle Assignment: apply family life cycle theory to own family experience and provide objective analysis.
- Group Presentation: Working in groups, collaborating with student colleagues, research and present on an assigned topic related to professional role with families and young children.
- Reflective Journal: Written reflections based on seminar presentations, readings and personal practice working with families in early childhood settings.
- Attendance and participation.
- All written assignments are marked for content and English writing as per current Faculty of Child, Family and Communities Studies standards.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Conduct primary, personal family research
- collects own family history
- examines family history for themes and patterns
- constructs own simple family genogram
- Consider relationship between individual development and family dynamics
- reads text and handouts for theoretical understanding
- applies theoretical perspectives to own family of origin
- examines personal history from all four theoretical perspectives
- 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, etc.
- recognizes the impact of social networks on families and young children
- respects diversity
- 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
- Assess own learning and classroom performance
- examines own style of learning and participation
- engages in course learning activities
- monitors learning style and level of participation
- attempts changes based on observation of self and feedback.