Faculty of Education

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2015 (Flexible)
Coordinator(s)Ms Wendy Goff


This unit examines the contextual factors that influence children's relationships within families and communities and how these build meaningful participation that supports children's learning and development. Using the concepts of inter-agency collaboration, students explore the complex needs of children and families in a spirit of community partnership and sustainable communities. Students critically investigate issues of disability, inclusion, ethnicity, indigeneity, living in rural, urban and remote communities, government interventions and policies. The unit also focuses on children's health, diverse childrearing practices and the nexus between the social and physical environment with a view towards sustainable living. Students develop an awareness of the importance of leadership to engage critically and ethically in working with children, families and communities and apply this to their professional practice. The unit emphasises strong communication skills to facilitate the developing role of early childhood educators as advocates for the wellbeing of children and families.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. analyse the child's development and learning in the context of families and communities, and identify supports and challenges presented
  2. identify and critically discuss the broad nature of contextual issues influencing children's development within families and communities in rural, remote and urban settings
  3. demonstrate critical awareness of the interrelationship between the social and the material environment and its influence on children and families
  4. critically engage with concepts, practice, prospects and challenges of inter-agency collaboration and partnerships in addressing children's needs
  5. demonstrate understanding of theories and practices of leadership and their role in developing leadership capacity in the profession
  6. implement and promote ethical practices in professional work with children, families and communities.


1. Critical analysis of a contemporary issue related to families and communities (4000 words, 50%)
2. Select either A or B
A: Research project investigating children, families and communities (4000 words, 50%)
B: Leadership project (4000 words, 50%)

Workload requirements

Flexible mode offers a stand-alone online offering that allows students to learn and engage in content and assessment in a supported way. It also provides a face-to-face component of 12 hours over the semester to engage students with the online learning content, which students can attend if they are able and interested.

Minimum total expected workload equals 288 hours per semester comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for flexible students:

  • 12 contact hours and 24 hours equivalent of online activities over the semester or
  • 36 hours equivalent of online activities over the semester

(b.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • independent study to meet the minimum required hours per semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


EDF6641 and EDF6643