Serena Gibson-Page

EDAC225 Family Studies and Disability
Tues 10-12pm LaurienBeane
Assessment Three: Part 2 Professional Reflection

Modern day family units within Australia embody various arrangements and an array of
diversity in relation to culture, dynamics and socio-economic status (Fleer, Edwards,
Hammer, Kennedy, Ridgway, Robbins &Surman, 2006). Education providers can recognise
and support this diversity by embeddinga Social Systems Perspective within their
philosophy, taking a family centred approach and establishing an inclusive community by
connecting with all families and treating them ethically with dignity and respect (Gavidia-
Payne, 1995). This is the responsibility of all educators and is reinforced as best practice
within the Early Childhood Code of Ethics (2006) in relation to families.The influence these
diverse circumstances have on children within these family systems needs to be
acknowledged but also considered conversely with respect to the influence a child has on
their families(Woolfolk&Margetts, 2010). This is considerable if the child has additional
needs (Seligman & Darling, 2007). Educators should value and appreciate this
interrelatedness by embracing the family centred approach and adopting Bronfenbrenner’s
Ecological Systems Theory within their classroom, viewing families and their child as unique
and individual (Woolfolk&Margetts, 2010).
When a child presents within an Early Childhood service with additional needs, families may
be eligible for Early Childhood Intervention if their child is aged between birth and three
years old (Bruder, 2010).Education providers can be successful in establishing respectful
and collaborative relationships with families by applying the five R’s, building rapport,
recognising ideologies and boundaries, relieving families of their emotional stress,
responding to concerns and referring to specialist support(Thomas, 2012). As a result of this
collaborative process educators can identify families’ strengths and any areas where they
may need support (Garvidia-Payne, 1995). Collaboration between families, specialist and
educators is essential in creating an Individualised Education Plan that has the shared view
of the child as capable within their own learning and as a result the curriculum implemented
will have goals set that are both challenging and achievable (Poed& Elkins, 2012;
Blaise&Nuttall, 2011). Quality Area 6: Collaborative partnerships with families and
communities within the National Quality Framework (2009) is the National standard for all
Early Childhood Services in providing excellence in care for children and their families
(ACECQA, 2009).
The impact a disability can have on a family unit may result in changes and adaptations to
the stages in their life-cycle (Gavidia-Payne, 1995). For parents within the Early Childhood
Serena Gibson-Page
EDAC225 Family Studies and Disability
Tues 10-12pm LaurienBeane
Assessment Three: Part 2 Professional Reflection
sector this might present as delays in their child’s developmental milestones or social and
emotional progress (Seligman & Darling, 2007). Through the adoption and application of an
equitable and socially just philosophy educators can encourage inclusion within their
classroom (Naraian, 2010). By modelling andfacilitating appropriate behaviours towards and
between all children and families educators can be victorious in creating a welcoming,
supportive and inclusive environment for children and their families (O’Brien, 2001). This
approach is highlighted in Standard Four within the Professional Standards for Teachers
(2006).Early Childhood Education is the stepping stone for all children towards lifelong
learning so it is imperative that all families and children are given equal opportunity and a
positive experience as their introduction into the education system (Naraian, 2010).

Serena Gibson-Page
EDAC225 Family Studies and Disability
Tues 10-12pm LaurienBeane
Assessment Three: Part 2 Professional Reflection

ACECQA. (2009). National quality standard for early childhood education and care and
school aged care. Council of Australian Governments.

Blaise, M. &Nuttall, J., (2011).Learning to teach in the early years classroom. South
Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Bruder, M. (2010). Early childhood intervention: a promise to children and families for their
future. Exceptional children, 76(3), 339-355.

Early Childhood Australia. (2006). The Code of Ethics. Early Childhood Australia. Retrieved

Early Childhood Education and Care in Australia. (2011) National quality standard. Retrieved

Fleer, M., Edwards, S., Hammer, M., Kennedy, A., Ridgeway, A., Robbins, J.
&Surman.L.(2006). Early childhood communities: Sociocultural research in practice.
Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education Australia.

Gavidia-Payne, S. T., (1995). Contemporary perspectives in the study of families of young
children with disabilities: Implications for policy and practice. Australian journal of
early childhood, 20 (4), 11-18.

Serena Gibson-Page
EDAC225 Family Studies and Disability
Tues 10-12pm LaurienBeane
Assessment Three: Part 2 Professional Reflection
Naraian, S., (2010).Teacher discourse, peer relations, significant disability: unravelling one
friendship story. International journal off qualitative studies in education, 24(1) 97-

O’Brien,L. M. (2001). Juggling scarves or inclusion for what? Young children with special
needs in an era of school ‘reform’.Contemporary issues in early childhood, 2(3), 309-

Poed, S., & Elkins, J., (2012).Legislation, policies, and principles.In A. Ashman & J. Elkins
Ed.), Education for inclusion and diversity (4
ed., pp. 37-62). Frenchs Forest,
NSW: Pearson.

Queensland College of Teachers. (2006). Professional standards for queensland teachers.
Available from

Seligman, M. & Darling, R. B. (2007).Ordinary families, special children : A systems
approach to childhood disability (3
Ed.). New York, NY: The Guildford Press.

Thomas, L. (2012).Lecture 5: Working with families (PowerPoint slides). Retrieved from ACU
LEO site:
Working with families.pptx

Woolfolk, A.&Margetts,K.(2010). Educational psychology (2
ed.). Frenchs Forest: Pearson