Families Assessment Option

Course work instructions


The assessment is a critical investigation (2000 words) of a topic or topics related to the module, and aligned with the module outcomes.

You are also required to participate in a thorough peer review of your work, and your partner’s work. The peer review is required. YOU CAN NOT PASS THE MODULE WITOUT EVIDENCE OF THE PEER REVIEW. Our guidelines are that you will provide at least 800 words of your own work (3 pages double spaced) to a partner, and you will write a peer review of at least 200 words of commentary on their work (1 page double spaced –a form will be provided, if you would like to use a form). This is a total of 1000 words.
The peer review will not earn a ‘mark’ but you will not pass the module without the required peer review.

There are options for the marked assessment for the module. Each option is meant to be equivalent in content and what it will require of you as a student, but the options are designed to address a range of ways that a person can articulate their learning related to this module. Each option will require 2000 words. Each option will be called a ‘critical investigation’ and will be focused on a topic or topics related to young children and their families. Each option requires the use of at least 7 academic sources, but more sources will help you to earn a better mark.

The critical investigation options are:

1) Critical Investigation/Annotated portfolio of the module outcomes (2000 words – plus 1000 word peer review)

For this option, you will document your learning on learning outcomes 1, 2, and your choice of 3, 4, or 5. Each of the module outcomes that you document should be placed as the heading of a section of the portfolio. In each section, you should write a clearly constructed portfolio piece which demonstrates your learning and is linked to academic readings. You can also use permitted photographs as a component of your portfolio, or other forms of media. You should clearly provide evidence that you have thought critically about topics related to young children and families, and you should clearly demonstrate your growth through engagement in the module sessions.

You should write a total of 2000 words for the entire portfolio, dividing the word count fairly equally amongst the outcomes.

You should incorporate at least 7 academic sources in the writing, but more sources would help you to improve your work.

Module learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this Module will:

1. be able to offer informed analysis of the place of children within the family in contemporary society;

2. have developed their awareness of family structures, patterns and relationships;

3. have knowledge and understanding of strategies and practices for working with families;

4. be able to critically analyse and discuss aspects of family life and relate their knowledge and understanding to strategies and practices for working with families;

5. have a critical understanding of the range of professionals and services for families.

Presentation of coursework
Your coursework should be typed or word processed and should conform to academic standards for undergraduate work. Information on referencing and bibliography is given in the BA (ECS) Programme Handbook. Please remember that failure to follow these rules and conventions when preparing a piece of work is likely to affect your grade.

Marking Guide
The learning outcomes that your assignment for Children and Families should demonstrate are based on the rationale and learning outcomes for the whole Module, and will be marked against the University marking guide (available in the year 2 programme handbook).

Weekly required readings will be listed in this module handbook overview of the sessions, and on moodle. You will be required to read these texts in order to understand the lecture material. You will also be required to engage in independent reading in order to successfully complete the module assessment. Essential and recommended texts for independent reading are listed in the module handbook and linked to the library reading list for the module (available via the library and linked to moodle). You may also go beyond the reading list in your independent reading, but you should make sure that the texts you consult are suitable academic texts. If you have questions about an academic source, please consult with your tutor.

Required texts

The ecology of human development: experiments by nature and design. Cambridge,
Read pages 21-29 (eight pages)

Carlson, M. J., Pilkauskas, N. V., McLanahan, S. S. and Brooks-Gunn, J. (2011). Couples as Partners and Parents Over Children’s Early Years. Journal of Marriage and Family, 73 (April 2011), pp. 317 – 334

Copeland, D. B. and Harbaugh, B. L. (2010). Psychosocial differences related to parenting infants among single and married mothers. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 33, pp. 129-148.

S. Flannery Quinn and S. Greenfield (in press). Living with children: A Froebelian approach to working with families and communities. In Maynard, T. and Bruce, T. (Eds.) The Routledge International handbook of Froebel and Early Childhood Practice: Re articulating Research and Policy. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Pleck, J. H. (2010). Why could father involvement benefit children? Theoretical perspectives. Applied Developmental Science, 11(4), pp. 196-202.

Tait, C. (2007) Getting to Know the Families Chapter 3 in: Whalley M. and Pen Green Centre (Corby, England) (2007) Involving parents in their children’s learning. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

Recommended texts

British Educational Research Association Ethical Guidelines (2011)

Baek, E. and DeVaney, S. A. (2010). How Do Families Manage Their Economic
Hardship? Family Relations ,59 (October 2010), pp. 358 – 368.

Barker, J. (2008) ‘Men and motors? Fathers’ involvement in children’s travel’, Early Child
Development and Care, 178(7), pp. 853 — 866

Bartholomew, M. K., Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., Glassman, M., Dush, C. M. K., and Sullivan, J. M. (2012). New Parents’ Facebook Use at the Transition to Parenthood. Family Relations, 61 (July 2012), pp. 455 – 469.

Baum, A. C. and McMurray-Schwarz, P. (2007). Research 101: Tools for reading and interpreting early childhood research. Early Childhood Education Journal, 34(6), pp. 367-370.

Baxter, J. and Alexander, M. (2008). Mothers’ work-to-family strain in single and couple parent families: the role of job characteristics and supports. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 43(2) pp 195 – 214.

Bergen, K. M., Suter, E. A., and Daas, K. L. (2006). “About as Solid as a Fish Net”:
Symbolic Construction of a Legitimate Parental Identity for Nonbiological
Lesbian Mothers. The journal of family communication, 6(3), pp. 201-231.

Bernier, A. and Miljkovitch, R. (2009). Intergenerational Transmission of Attachment in Father–Child Dyads: The Case of Single Parenthood. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 2009, 170(1), 31–51

Braun, A., and Cline, T. (2010). Trilingual families in mainly monolingual societies: working towards a typology. International Journal of Multilingualism, 7(2), pp. 110-127.


Brotherson, M. J., Summers, J. A., Naig, L. A., Kyzar, K. Friend, A. Epley, P., and Gotto IV, G. S. (2010). Partnership patterns: addressing emotional needs in early intervention. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 30(1), pp. 32-45.

Callister, M. A., Robinson, T. and Clark, B. R. (2007). Media portrayals of the family in children’s television programming during the 2005-2006 season in the US. Journal of Family and the Media, 1(2), pp. 142-161.

Collins, J. and Foley, P. (2008). Promoting children’s Wellbeing: Policy and Practice. Bristol: The Policy Press.

Craig, L. (2006). Does Father Care Mean Fathers Share? A Comparison of How Mothers and Fathers in Intact Families Spend Time with Children. Gender and Society, 20(2), pp. 259-281.

Croft, G., Boyer, W., and Hett, G. (2009). Self-actualization: The Heart and Soul of a Potential-based Life Skills Program for a Child with Multiple Disabilities. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37, pp. 43-49.

Custodero, L. A., Britto, P. R., Brooks-Gunn, J. (2003). Musical lives: A collective portrait of American parents and their young children, Applied Developmental Psychology, 24, pp. 553–572.

Delpit, L. (2006). Education in a multicultural society: Our future’s greatest challenge * In Other people’s children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. Pp. 167-183 New York:New Press.

Department for Children, Schools, and Families (2008). Families in Britain: an Evidence Paper.

DeJean, S. L., McGeorge, C. R. and Carlson, T. S. (2012) Attitudes Toward Never-Married Single Mothers and Fathers: Does Gender Matter?, Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 24(2), pp. 121-138

Dew, J. and Wilcox, W. B. (2011). If Momma Ain’t Happy: Explaining Declines in
Marital Satisfaction Among New Mothers. Journal of Marriage and Family, 73 (February 2011), pp. 1 – 12.

Dufur, M. J., Howell, N. C., Downey, D. B. Ainsworth, J. W., and Lapray, A. J. (2010). Sex Differences in Parenting Behaviors in Single-Mother and Single-Father Households. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, pp. 1092 – 1106

Flannery Quinn, S. (2009) The Depictions of Fathers and Children in Best Selling Picture Books in the United States: A Hybrid Semiotic Analysis. Fathering, 7(2). Pp. 140-158.

Flannery Quinn, S. (2006). Examining the Culture of Fatherhood in American Children’s Literature: Presence, Interactions, and Nurturing Behaviors of Fathers in Caldecott Award Winning Picture Books (1938-2002). Fathering 4(1), pp. 71-96

Gallagher, P. A., Kresak, K., and Rhodes, C. A. (2010). Perceived needs of grandmothers of children with disabilities. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 30(1), pp. 56-64.

Gassman-Pines, A. (2011). Low-Income Mothers’ Nighttime and Weekend Work: Daily Associations With Child Behavior, Mother-Child Interactions, and Mood. Family Relations, 60 (February 2011), pp. 15 – 29.

Golden, A. (2007) Fathers’ Frames for Childrearing: Evidence Toward a “Masculine Concept
of Caregiving” Journal of Family Communication, 7(4), pp. 265–285

Goldschmied, E. and Jackson, S. (2004). Briding the child’s two worlds. pp. 199-216. In People Under Three. London: Routledge.

Harrison, J., Henderson, M. & Leonard, R. (2007). Different dads: fathers’ stories of parenting disabled children. [electronic resource] London: Jessica Kingsley.

Honig, A. S. (2008) Supporting men as fathers, caregivers, and educators, Early Child
Development and Care, 178(7), pp. 665 — 687

Hook, J. L. (2011). Working on the Weekend: Fathers’ Time With Family in the United Kingdom. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74 (August 2012), pp. 631 – 642.

Ilari, B. (2005). On musical parenting of young children: musical beliefs and behaviors of mothers and infants. Early Child Development and Care, 17( 7&8), pp. 647–660.

Irving, H. R. and Giles, A. R. (2011) Examining the child’s impacts on single mothers’ leisure, Leisure Studies, 30(3), pp. 365-373

James, S., Brown, R. B., Goodsell, T. L., Stovall, J., and Flaherty, J. (2010). Adapting to Hard Times: Family Participation Patterns in Local Thrift Economies. Family Relations, 59 (October 2010), pp. 383 – 395.

Jones, P. Moss, D., Tomlinson, P. and Welch, S. (2008). Childhood Services and Provision for Children. London: Pearson.

Keat, J. B., Strickland, M. J., and Marinak, B. A. (2009). Child Voice: How Immigrant Children Enlightened Their Teachers with a Camera. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37, pp.13–21.

Kersey, K. and Masterson, M. L. (September 2009). Teachers connecting with families in the best interest of children. Young Children, pp. 34-38.

Kimbro, R. T., and Schachter, A. (2011). Neighborhood Poverty and Maternal Fears
of Children’s Outdoor Play. Family Relations, 60 (October 2011), pp. 461 – 475.

Kjellstrand, E. K. and Melanie Harper, M. (2012): Yes, She Can: An Examination
of Resiliency Factors in Middle- and Upper-Income Single Mothers, Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 53(4), pp. 311-327

Lee, C. S., Lee, J., and August, G. J. (2011). Financial Stress, Parental Depressive Symptoms,
Parenting Practices, and Children’s Externalizing Problem Behaviors: Underlying Processes. Family Relations, 60 (October 2011), pp. 476 – 490.

Leu, J. C. (2008). Early Childhood Music Education in Taiwan: An Ecological Systems Perspective. Arts Education Policy Review, 109(3), pp. 17-25

Long, C. E., Gurka, M. J., and Blackman, J. A. (2008). Family stress and children’s language and behaviour problems: Results from the national survey of children’s health. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 28, pp. 148-157.

Marshall, N. L., and Tracy, A. J. (2009). After the Baby: Work-Family Conflict and Working
Mothers’ Psychological Health. Family Relations, 58 (October 2009), pp. 380–391.

Maul, C. A., and Singer, G. H. S. (2009). ‘Just good different things’: specific accommodations families make to positively adapt to their children with developmental disabilities. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 29(3), pp. 155-170.

Melhuish, E. and Hall, P. (2007). The policy background to SureStart. In J. Belsky, J. Barnes, and E. Melhuish (Eds).The National Evaluation of SureStart. pp. 3-21. Bristol: Policy Press.

McCarthy, J. R. and Edwards, R. (2011). Key concepts in family studies. Los Angeles: Sage.

Moyo, O. N. and Kawese, S. M. (2009). Lone Motherhood in Zimbabwe: The Socioeconomic Conditions of Lone Parents and Their Children. Social Work in Public Health, 24, pp. 161–177

Nalls, A. M., Mullis, R. L., Cornille, T. A., Mullis, A. K., & Jeter, N. (2010). How can we reach reluctant parents in childcare programmes? Early Child Development and Care, 108(8), pp. 1053-1064.

Nicholson, J. M., Berthelsen, D., Abad, V., Williams, K. and Bradley, J. (2008). Impact of Music Therapy to Promote Positive Parenting and Child Development. Journal of Health Psychology, 13, pp. 226-238.

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