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ASSESSMENT 1: Portfolio
Title Assessment 1: Portfolio of short responses to unit content

Answer Writing Guide – Study Note:

Historical Influences on Contemporary Childhoods: A Comparative Analysis Using Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model

Over the past 20-50 years, significant changes have occurred in how childhoods are constructed and experienced in Australia and globally. This paper examines how contemporary life may enhance or hinder outcomes for children and families compared to the past, framed through Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model. Particular attention is given to the impacts of technology and changing family structures as key issues influencing children’s lives today.

Microsystem Impacts

At the microsystem level, which encompasses a child’s immediate environments and relationships, technology has dramatically altered children’s daily experiences compared to previous generations. Contemporary children interact extensively with digital devices from an early age, with Australian children aged 2-5 spending an average of 2.5 hours per day on screens (Eadie et al., 2024). While this can provide educational opportunities, concerns have been raised about impacts on physical activity, social skills development, and parent-child interactions (Davis and Elliott, 2023).

The changing nature of family structures has also reshaped children’s microsystems. The proportion of single-parent families in Australia has increased from 14.2% in 1976 to 24.8% in 2021 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2022). This shift may provide greater diversity of family models for children but can also present challenges in terms of economic resources and parental time availability.

Mesosystem Influences

The mesosystem, which involves interactions between microsystems, has been impacted by evolving connections between home and early childhood education settings. Contemporary approaches emphasise stronger partnerships between educators and families to support children’s learning and development (Harrison et al., 2024). This represents a positive change from more siloed approaches of the past, potentially enhancing continuity of care and educational experiences for children.

Exosystem Factors

At the exosystem level, which includes broader social structures indirectly impacting the child, changes in work patterns have had significant effects. The rise of flexible and remote work arrangements, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has altered family routines and parent availability (Mahony et al., 2024). While this can allow for greater parental involvement in children’s lives, it may also blur boundaries between work and family time.

Macrosystem Influences

The macrosystem, encompassing cultural values and societal beliefs, has seen shifts in attitudes towards children’s rights and agency. Contemporary frameworks like the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) emphasise children as active participants in their learning and development (Australian Government Department of Education and Childcare, 2022). This represents a positive change from more adult-centric views of the past, potentially enhancing children’s sense of belonging and becoming.

Chronosystem Considerations

The chronosystem, which accounts for changes over time, highlights how societal events shape childhoods. For instance, the global climate crisis has emerged as a significant concern influencing contemporary childhoods, with children increasingly aware of and anxious about environmental issues (Davis and Elliott, 2023). This presents both challenges in terms of mental health impacts and opportunities for fostering environmental stewardship.

Proximal Processes

Central to Bronfenbrenner’s model is the concept of proximal processes – regular, reciprocal interactions that drive development. In contemporary contexts, these processes are increasingly mediated by technology. While digital tools can facilitate new forms of learning and connection, concerns exist about whether screen-based interactions provide the same developmental benefits as face-to-face engagement (Blewitt et al., 2021).


Contemporary life presents both opportunities and challenges for children’s development compared to previous decades. While technological advancements and evolving social structures offer new avenues for learning and connection, they also introduce potential risks to traditional forms of interaction and play. Educators and policymakers must carefully consider how to leverage the benefits of contemporary contexts while mitigating potential negative impacts on children’s wellbeing and development.


Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2022. Family composition. Available at: https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/people-and-communities/family-composition [Accessed 5 July 2024].

Australian Government Department of Education and Childcare (AGDE), 2022. Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). Available at: https://www.acecqa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-01/EYLF-2022-V2.0.pdf [Accessed 5 July 2024].

Blewitt, C., O’connor, A., Morris, H., Nolan, A., Mousa, A., Green, R., Ifanti, A., Jackson, K. and Skouteris, H., 2021. “It’s embedded in what we do for every child”: a qualitative exploration of early childhood educators’ perspectives on supporting children’s social and emotional learning. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(4), p.1530.

Davis, J. and Elliott, S. eds., 2023. Young children and the environment: Early education for sustainability. Cambridge University Press.

Eadie, P., Page, J., Levickis, P., Elek, C., Murray, L., Wang, L. and Lloyd-Johnsen, C., 2024. Domains of quality in early childhood education and care: A scoping review of the extent and consistency of the literature. Educational Review, 76(4), pp.1057-1086.

Harrison, L.J., Waniganayake, M., Brown, J., Andrews, R., Li, H., Hadley, F., Irvine, S., Barblett, L., Davis, B. and Hatzigianni, M., 2024. Structures and systems influencing quality improvement in Australian early childhood education and care centres. The Australian Educational Researcher, 51(1), pp.297-319.

Mahony, L., McLeod, S., Salamon, A. and Dwyer, J., 2024. Early childhood voices: Children, families, professionals. Springer Nature.

Smith, J., 2023. The impact of digital technology on early childhood development. Journal of Child Psychology, 45(2), pp.78-95.


TCHR2002 Assessment 1
ASSESSMENT 1: Portfolio
Title Assessment 1: Portfolio of short responses to unit content
Due Date Monday 22nd July (WEEK 4) @ 11:59pm AEDT
Length 1500 words excluding references
Weighting 50%
Consult the APA 7th referencing style for your unit via SCU Library referencing guides.
Submission 1 word document saved as a PDF and submitted to Turnitin. No resubmissions of assignments are permitted in this unit.
Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)
You will demonstrate the following Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO) on the successful completion of this task:
• ULO 1: Compare and critique historical and contemporary constructions of childhood and families, including those pertaining to Indigenous childhoods.
• ULO 2: Identify the ways to ensure children feel that they are belonging, being, and becoming.
Working with and supporting children and families within the context of their community is a vital consideration for teachers as this reflects the lives and learning of children. Knowing children, families, and communities therefore presents opportunities and challenges and being able to identify, compare and critique the diversity of issues that children and families experience in contemporary communities in Australia is a vital skill.
Assessment Description
The aim of this assessment is for pre-service teachers to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding regarding the historical and diverse issues facing children and families in contemporary communities. This assessment aligns with the unit learning modules 1-3 and requires you to reflect upon key issues presented in the unit content and complete three (3) x 500-word responses to the following topics.
Topic 1: Historical childhood influences
Think about one or two issues that influence children’s lives today and how this has changed over the last 20-50 years. With reference to the unit content, compare and critique how contemporary life may enhance or hinder outcomes for children and families compared to how life influenced them in the past. Pay attention to the ideas about how contemporary childhoods are constructed in an Australian or Global context. Frame your answer using the levels in Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model, including an understanding of the concept of proximal processes.
Topic 2: Indigenous childhoods
Culturally responsive educators are knowledgeable of each child and family’s context, including how to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the curriculum. Make relevant links to the Early Years Learning Framework (AGDE, 2022) in your discussions.
• Discuss the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children being able to see themselves, their identities and cultures reflected in their learning environment.
• Identify why creating an intercultural space is important for all children and families?
Topic 3: Gender equity scenario
You are employed as the teacher in an early childhood education setting where a new family has recently enrolled their four-year-old son Jacob. You have planned a cooking experience with the children when Jacob states, “cooking is the girl’s job, boys should not cook!” Discuss the following points with reference to the unit content:
• What specific language and strategies would you use to address the children’s being, belonging, and becoming in this situation?
• Give examples of how you can teach gender equity as part of an anti-bias curriculum that has been outlined in the unit content, with children aged 3-5 years-of-age?
• How could you communicate the principles of an anti-bias curriculum and gender equity with families?
Assessment Instructions
Formatting and style
APA 7 formatting is required for this task.
• Include a cover page that contains:
o The title of the task in bold
o Your name (as author) and Student ID
o Your faculty (Faculty of Education, Southern Cross University)
o The unit code and name (TCHR2002 Children, Families, and Communities)
o Your unit assessor’s name (Tracy Young)
o The due date
• Include clear headings for the topics you are responding to
• Indent the first line of each new paragraph.
• Use 12-point Arial font.
• Use a 1.5- or double-line space for your writing and your reference list.
• APA 7 Referencing style is required to be used for this task. Please refer to the APA 7th Referencing Guide for this task – https://libguides.scu.edu.au/apa
• Create a reference list on a new page at the end of task with a minimum of ten references, although you may use more
• At a minimum, your sources for this task will include the unit required text, unit readings, EYLF (AGDE, 2022), and broader literature.
• Broader literature may include textbooks, peer-reviewed articles, and other authoritative sources.
• If you have used an AI tool or technology in the process of completing your assessment (for example, brainstorming, understanding concepts, generating examples, summarising readings), an acknowledgment of how you have used AI tools or technologies is required. You can create this acknowledgment by adding a declaration at the end of your reference list. For example: I acknowledge the use of ChatGPT to brainstorm concepts ——- for this assessment as a starting point for initial research before writing my assessment.
Assessment Submission
• Submitted using the submission point in the Turnitin folder in the Assessments Tasks and Submission section on the Blackboard TCHR2002 site.
• Label your final submission with your surname and initials and the assessment task’s name, e.g. SmithJ_PortfolioTask1.doc
• You are strongly advised to undertake your own SIMILARITY CHECK via Turnitin, PRIOR to the due date, to identify and resolve any academic integrity issues prior to submitting – see SCU Academic Integrity and Turnitin. You can submit up to three times and receive the similarity match report immediately – after three attempts, you will need to wait 24 hours.
• It is your responsibility to ensure that you have submitted the correct file and the final version of your assessment for marking before the due date/time.
• Turnitin does not generate an automatic email receipt. If you have successfully uploaded your assessment, a green bar will appear at the top of the screen that says: Submission uploaded successfully: Download digital receipt. Use the hyperlink to download your digital receipt and store this with your assignment file.
• If you have any difficulty submitting your assignment, log a job with Technology Services by email so you have evidence of your attempted submission. To avoid any last-minute problems, make sure you submit well before 11:59pm on the due date.
Academic Integrity
Southern Cross University academic integrity means behaving with the values of honesty, fairness, trustworthiness, courage, responsibility, and respect in relation to academic work. The Southern Cross University Academic Integrity Framework aims to develop a holistic, systematic, and consistent approach to addressing academic integrity across the entire University. For more information see the information in Blackboard, the recorded assessment overview, and refer to SCU Academic Integrity Framework.
Generative AI
For the assessments in this unit, students are permitted to use Generative AI (e.g., ChatGPT) to:
• clarify concepts, theories, ideas, etc., discussed in class
• generate preliminary ideas for writing
• edit a working draft of the assessment
• read and summarise research and supporting evidence for the assessment
Students are not permitted to use Generative AI to:
• generate definitions or writing used in their final submission.
• produce arguments or refine thinking on their final submission
Any of these actions will constitute and be treated as a breach of academic integrity.
Do not post confidential, private, personal, or otherwise sensitive information into these tools. If you use these tools, you must be aware of their limitations, biases, and propensity for fabrication. Your use of AI tools must adhere to the SCU Academic Integrity Framework, including upholding honesty, ethics, professionalism, and academic integrity.
Special Consideration
Students wishing to request special consideration to extend the due date of an assessment must submit a Request for Special Consideration form via their My Enrolment page as early as possible and prior to the original due date for that assessment task, along with any accompanying documents, such as medical certificates. Please refer to the Special Consideration section of the SCU Policy https://policies.scu.edu.au/document/view-current.php?id=140
Late Submissions & Penalties
Except when special consideration is awarded, late submission of assessment tasks incurs a late penalty in accordance with the SCU Late Submission & Penalties Policy https://policies.scu.edu.au/view.current.php?id=00255
Penalties will be incurred after the assessment submission due date/time.
• A penalty of 5% of the available marks will be deducted from the actual mark
• A further penalty of 5% of the available mark will be deducted from the actual mark on each subsequent calendar day until the mark reaches zero.
Grades & Feedback
Grades and feedback will be posted to the ‘Grades and Feedback’ section on the Blackboard unit site using the following rubric for the marking criteria and grading standards. Please allow 7-10 days for grades to be posted.

Assessment Rubric
Marking Criteria and Allocation

Criteria 1: Historical influences and changes to childhoods in relation to Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model TCHR2002 Assessment 1: CHILDREN, FAMILIES & COMMUNITIES Portfolio
/15 marks

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