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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Education

Undergraduate Course: Children and The Family (EDUA08091)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course asks students to relate their own ideas concerning children and families (as well as what they have learned in Children and Childhoods) to articles on childhood drawn from a wide range of subjects. The course encourages students to investigate, compare and contrast a diverse number of representations of children and families in academic writing, policy documents, newspapers, service guidelines and so forth. The central aim is to develop students' understanding of and ability to utilise different theories of children and family to understand their own and other people's everyday values, taken for granted assumptions, patterns of behaviour and work practices. In particular, students are asked to consider how the ways in which they think about communities, families and children impacts upon their practice. Students are asked to identify good practice in relation to family assessment, health and relationships. In particular, students are asked to consider the implications of psychological and neurochemical child development models on their practice and to question approaches that label children and families.
Course description The course consists of the following sessions:
1. Introduction: Examining Family Boundaries
2. Children and Families in Policy and Practice: Challenging Deficit Models
3. Relations of Power: Governing Children and Families
4. Assessing Children and Families
5. What is a Family? Diverse Family Types
6. Young Carers: Beyond the Tragedy Model
7. The Myth of the Perfect Parent
8. Working in Partnership with Children and Families
9. Critical Perspectives on ADHD
10. Assessment Workshop
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements All non BA Childhood Practice students should contact the Course Organiser before enrolling on the course. Entry to the course is at the discretion of the Course Organiser as potential students must have previous experience working with children and young people and during the course should have access to a relevant childcare/early years setting (e.g voluntary, part-time etc) in order to meet the assignment criteria.
Additional Costs n/a
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  38
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment:
Each student is required to write an essay of around 2,500 words. This constitutes 100% of the possible marks for this course.
In the essay, students should demonstrate their development as a reflective practitioner by:
- Identifying a key issue in a national or local childcare legislation, guidance or policy document that influences their work with children and families;
- Drawing upon literature from the course work and beyond to compare and contrast theories and examples relevant to this issue; and
- Demonstrating how this literature has influenced their work with children and families.
Feedback In Children and the Family we offer the following opportunities of formative (= non-assessed) feedback to all students:

Class sessions for Children and the Family have been designed to include interactive group workshop activities. Information about these activities can be found on Learn in advance of each class. You should come fully prepared and able to share ideas and questions. Through discussion, your tutor and other students will help clarify any misunderstandings, and work on applying theoretical ideas to practical examples. Such discussions are very important opportunities for feedback. To really make the most of them, you may find it helpful to write up notes from the discussions as soon as possible after the event. You will also be able to extend these discussions with your classmates using the online discussions function on Learn.

You will also be taking part in online discussions on Learn, which offer opportunities for peer feedback and your tutor will also pick up issues raised in these discussions during workshop sessions.

You are asked to write a short reflective piece (300 words) about a topic covered on or related to the course, in which you reflect critically on how the issues covered in the course affect your work with children and families. Your reflective statement should address at least one of the following points:
- Critical evaluation of theories and policy in terms of how they influence work with children and families;
- Linkages between academic theory, social policy and examples from practice; and
- Personal and professional reflection on the issues raised in the course.
You should upload your work to the Week 6 Blog thread on Learn during reading week (week 6).
During week 6 you should aim to give feedback on at least two other students' work, using the feedback/marking criteria available.
The person giving the feedback learns as much or more from the process as the person receiving it: applying criteria to a piece of work is an important part of the development of 'academic connoisseurship'.
The course organiser will provide group feedback for the cohort as a whole.

There will be a chance to raise questions about the course assignment throughout the course. The final class will consist of an assessment workshop, where students can bring their essay plans and discuss them in groups and with the course organizer.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Evaluate theories of child development and sociological and anthropological theories of children and the family and relate this to the evolution of children's services.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of and compare different contexts of family and learning (e.g. family and school) and a variety of family types (e.g. those described in disability studies.
  3. Compare, contrast and synthesise different ideas concerning power relations within the family and the roles of actors who contribute to a child's development (including children).
  4. Demonstrate reflexivity when critically evaluating practical examples and case studies of professional interaction with children and parents.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of different social policies relating to children, families and the state.
Reading List
Aldridge and Becker (2002) Children Who Care: Rights and wrongs in debate and policy on young carers, in: Franklin, B The New Handbook of Children's Rights: Comparative policy and practice, London: Routledge, pages 208-222.
Davis, J. (2006) Disability, Childhood Studies and the Construction of Medical Discourses, in Lloyd, G., Stead, J. and Cohen, D. (eds) Critical New Perspectives on ADHD, London: Routledge.
Davis, J.M. (2011) Integrated Children's Services, London: Sage.
Davis, J.M. and Smith, M. (2012)Working in Multi-Professional Contexts: A Practical Guide for Professionals in Children's Services, London: Sage.
Furedi, F. (2002) Paranoid Parenting: Why Ignoring the Experts May be Best for Your Child, London: Continuum.
Gilligan, R. (1999) Working with Social Networks: Key Resources in Helping Children at Risk, in Hill, M. (ed.) Effective Ways of Working with Children and their Families, London: Jessica Kingsley.
Gilligan, R. (2000) Family Support: Issues and Prospects, in Canavan, J., Dolan, P. and Pinkerton, J. (eds) Family Support As Reflective Practice, London: Jessica Kingsley.
Hallam, A (2008) The Effectiveness Of Interventions To Address Health Inequalities In The Early Years: A Review Of Relevant Literature, Scottish Government, Health Analytical Services Division
Hill, M. (2005) Children's Boundaries, in: McKie, L. and Cunningham- Burley, S. (eds) Families in Society: Boundaries and Relationships, Bristol: Policy Press.
Jones, C. and Leverett, S. (2008) Policy into Practice: Assessment, Evaluation and Multi-Agency Working with Children, In Foley, P. and Rixon, A. (eds) Changing Children's Services: Working and Learning Together, Bristol: Policy Press.
Mayall, B. (1996) Children, Health and Social Order, Basingstoke: Open University Press.
Newman, T. (2002) Young Carers and Disabled Parents: Time for a Change in Direction? Disability and Society 16 (6): 613-625.
Ramaekers, S. and Suissa, J. (2012) The Claims of Parenting: Reasons, Responsibility and Society, London: Springer.
Rose, N. (1999) Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self, London: Free Association Books.
Rose, Nikolas, (2007) Politics of life itself: biomedicine, power and subjectivity in the twenty-first century, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Platt (2001) Refocusing Children's Services: Evaluation of an Initial Assessment Process, Child & Family Social Work 6 (2): 139-148.
Smith, M. and Davis, J.M. (2010) Constructions of Family Support: Lessons from the Field, Administration.
Skott- Myhre, K., Weima, K. and Gibbs, H. (2012, eds) Writing the Family: Women, Auto- ethnography, and Family Work, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Stables, J. and Smith, F. (1999) Caught in the Cinderella Trap, in: R. Butler and H. Parr (eds) Mind and Body Spaces: Geographies of Illness, Impairment and Disability, London: Routledge, pp. 256-286.
Swadener, B.B. (2010) 'At risk' or 'at promise'? From deficit constructions of the 'other childhood' to possibilities for authentic alliances with children and families, International Critical Childhood Policy Studies 3 (1): 7-29.
Tunstill, J, Tarr, S and Thoburn, J (2007) Cross Sector Scoping Study of Family Support Workers in the Children's Workforce, Children's Workforce Development Council
Wates, M. (2004) Righting the Picture: Disability and Family Life, in Swain, J., French, S., Barnes, C. and Thomas, C. (eds) Disabling Barriers, Enabling Environments, London: Sage.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry

- be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them
- be able to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding
- be able to critically assess existing understanding and the limitations of their own knowledge and recognise the need to regularly challenge all knowledge
- search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and understanding
- have an informed respect for the principles, methods, standards, values and boundaries of their discipline(s) and the capacity to question these

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy

- be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
- be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
- be able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, taking into account ethical and professional issues
- be able to use collaboration and debate effectively to test, modify and strengthen their own views
- have a personal vision and goals and be able to work towards these in a sustainable way


- make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding
- use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others
- further their own learning through effective use of the full range of communication approaches
- seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness

Personal Effectiveness

- be able to manage risk while initiating and managing change
- have the confidence to make decisions based on their understandings and their personal and intellectual autonomy
- understand social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities and issues
- be able to work effectively with others, capitalising on their different thinking, experience and skills
- work with, manage, and lead others in ways that value their diversity and equality and that encourage their contribution to the organisation and the wider community
Additional Class Delivery Information Classes will include lectures, case studies and group discussions.
Keywordschildren,family,childhood practice,childhood and family policies,relations of power
Course organiserProf John Davis
Tel: (0131 6)51 6481
Course secretaryMs Ann Black
Tel: (0131 6)51 6382
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