Child Development: Family and Community Contexts

10 Units

This course examines the nature of family and community influences on the development of children and those with sensory disability in particular. The rationale for early intervention through family-centred practice is discussed and characteristics of effective parent-professional partnerships /collaboration explored. Students will consider family systems, cultural diversity, and the role of parent education and guidance as a basis for promoting optimal outcomes for children with a sensory disability. RIDBC Renwick Centre administers this course. Before enrolling in this course, review the RIDBC Renwick Centre Handbook at

Faculty Faculty of Education and Arts
School School of Education
Availability Semester 1 - 2014 (WebLearn GradSchool)
Semester 2 - 2014 (WebLearn GradSchool)
Semester 1 - 2015 (WebLearn GradSchool)
Semester 2 - 2015 (WebLearn GradSchool)

Upon completion of this course, students will be expected to:

  1. Command a working knowledge of the social-emotional and cognitive continua of child development;
  2. Identify and apply a range of strategies to support and guide parents/families in promoting a child’s optimal development;
  3. Reflect on, and develop as necessary, the personal skills required to work collaboratively with parents/families and interdisciplinary teams.

Topics will include:

  • Overview - wholistic development: birth-12 months;
  • Overview - wholistic development 1-3 years;
  • Social-emotional and cognitive development: preschool to school-age(6yrs);
  • Social attachment, knowledge and skills : the school-age child;
  • Diversity of cultures, perspectives and opinion influencing child development;
  • Role of diversity in social, educational & community environments;
  • Introduction to additional disabilities and/or learning needs;
  • Family systems theory – boundaries and roles;
  • Impact of sensory disability on family life – functioning and coping mechanisms;
  • Introduction to family counselling techniques - help-giving & advocacy skills;
  • Parent-professional partnership and interdisciplinary team collaboration;
  • Introduction to family-centered practice - coaching & guidance techniques;
  • Impact of culture, language & lifestyle on service approach, delivery and guidance.
Replacing Course(s) Nil
Transition Nil
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge No prior knowledge assumed.
Modes of Delivery Distance Learning : IT Based
Teaching Methods Self Directed Learning
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Critical review and summary of articles/research studies.
  • Case Scenario/PBL exercises - Case study: parent interview
  • Quiz - On-line - Multiple-choice quiz
Contact Hours
  • Tutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
  • Self Directed Learning: for 9 hour(s) per Week for 13 weeks
Compulsory Components
  • Requisite by Enrolment: Enrolment limited to Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies and Master of Special Education.
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for EDUC6667

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