module specification

SE6053 - The Child, the Family and the Wider World (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title The Child, the Family and the Wider World
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
75 hours Guided independent study
30 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   A Case study 3,500 words
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module investigates concepts of families and parenting in a historical and socio-cultural context. It will research working in partnership with families and carers and will critically  evaluate multi-professional models and strategies of assessing children and families and working with parents / carers.

Prior learning requirements

It is expected that students will be in a work placement providing for children in the birth to six age range for a minimum of 2 hours each week throughout the module, normally in a group setting.

Module aims

This module aims to enable students to:

  • Examine concepts of family and the socio-cultural contexts of parenting
  • Develop a perspective of the child in the context of the family in society and an understanding of the crucial role of the parent / carer in the child’s development and learning
  • Develop professional skills in working in partnership with families, carers and in multi-professional teams
  • Critically evaluate models of partnership with parents and parent programmes
  • Explore a range of approaches to assessing young children and their families in a multi-professional context


In this module students will critically evaluate concepts of families and parenting in a historical and socio-cultural context. Consideration will be given to the key role of the parent in the child’s general development and learning and to the growth of the idea of parenting as a skill.
The social, political, and economic trends that impact on children, families and communities will be studied and recent legislation, current initiatives and relevant research will be identified; students will consider the impact of these on practitioners, settings and families.
Students will examine the role of the early childhood practitioner in relation to other professional roles and parents’ responsibilities and evaluate models of working in partnership with parents and carers.

The module will include a review of ways of collecting information about young children and families upon which assessments within different professional disciplines are based. The role of parents and the children themselves in assessment and record keeping will be explored

Learning and teaching

For taught course students theoretical input will be through lectures and seminars. Distance Learning students will receive the same theoretical input through bespoke on-line module materials with access to an allocated tutor who is available to support them either face-to-face, by e-mail or by telephone. All students will benefit from a blended learning approach through the use of WebLearn for supplementary materials, links to E-books, on-line discussions and self-assessment exercises such as quizzes and reflective tasks.

Reflection and discussion are key to teaching for all students – for taught students this will be in the context of tutor-led sessions while for distance learning students reflection will be promoted by the exercises incorporated into the web-based materials.  For all students experiential learning promotes their growing ability to act as a reflective practitioner.

Teaching and learning strategies and methods also focus on workplace skills and professionalism. All students undertake and reflect on observations in the workplace and weekly tasks and reflective exercises support increased knowledge and understanding. Observations, action research, work-related tasks and the use of development planning tools support the growth of practitioners’ professional competence. 

The development of transferable skills in presenting evidence, arguments and points of view to a range of audiences, through a range of media, including the use of ICT also supports individual learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Debate changing social and cultural views on parenthood and parenting
  2. Demonstrate a critically reflective approach to working with families, carers in multi-professional teams
  3. Describe, analyse and constructively critique research and policy related to partnership between parents and professionals
  4. Critically evaluate approaches to assessment in their own workplace and within other professional contexts


Abbott, L., Langston, A. (Eds) (2006) Parents Matter: Supporting the Birth to Three Matters Framework,  Maidenhead: Open University Press
Brunton, P and Thornton, L (2010)The Parent Partnership Toolkit for Early Years. London: Optimus Publishing
Crozier, G. and Reay, D. Eds.  (2005) Activating Participation: Parents and Teachers Working Towards Partnership   London:Trentham books
Desforges, C. (2003) The Impact of Parental Involvement, Parental Support and Family Education on Pupil Achievement and Adjustment: A Literature Review. Nottingham: DfES Publications.
Golombok,S. (2000) Parenting:What really Counts? London: Routledge.
Luster, T and Okagaki, L (2008) (2nd edition)Parenting: An Ecological Perspective. London: Taylor Francis
Reder,P. Duncan,S., Lucey,C. (2003) Studies in the Assessment of Parenting, Hove and New York: Brunner-Routledge
Siraj-Blatchford, Clarke and Needham (2007) The Team Around The Child. Stoke On Trent:Trentham
Trodd, L., Chivers, L., (2011) Interprofessional Working in Practice: Learning and working together for children and families, London: OUP

Hughes,P.andMacNaughton,G. (2002) “Preparing Early Childhood Professionals to Work with Parents: the challenges of diversity and dissensus” Australian Journal of Early Childhood, June 2002,Vol.27,No.2,pp14-20
Sheppard, M. (2002) ‘Depressed Mothers’ Experience of Partnership in Child and Family Care, British Journal of Social Work Vol. 32 pp93-112

Web sites  (the National Family and Parenting Institute).