case study

Background Information for Assignment 1 and 2

Both assignments in ECHE3260 are related and involve conducting a case study on a topic relating to questions of diversity and familial stress and supports.  The purpose of these assignments is to get you to think about the structural forces operating on families (i.e., immigration, inequalities, governmental policies) and how these forces differentially affect the family system and the children’s wellbeing.  You will need to identify sources of stress and support for the family and give due attention to inequalities experienced by families and individuals who do not reflect the dominant images of Australian families.

Case studies are used widely in the social sciences.  A case study involves a detailed examination of a single subject, event or setting.  For this case study you are required to interview a parent or primary caregiver (this must be virtually only due to Covid-19 restrictions) who is either:

  • A new immigrant/refugee family to Australia (less than 5 years in Australia)
  • A single mother household
  • A family living in a rural/remote area (outside of a major city or large town)
  • A family in a same-sex relationship
  • A family with a child with special needs

 

Your chosen participant needs to care for at least one child who is currently attending preschool, long day care or is enrolled in primary school.  It is important that you become as knowledgeable as possible about the specific ethnic, cultural or structural characteristics of the individual you will be interviewing.  You may wish to rehearse or role-play the interview questions with fellow students before conducting the interview.  Keep in mind that interviewing requires active listening and probing with follow-up questions to facilitate the flow of information.  It is a good idea to use a digital recording device for the interview, but it is not essential.  What is essential is taking detailed notes.  If your participant doesn’t want to answer any questions or appears uneasy about discussing a topic, drop the question.  Before commencing the interview be sure to (a) obtain informed consent from the parent or primary caregiver for the interview and recording of it (if you plan to digitally record your interview), and (b) develop an interview schedule to ensure you cover all key issues. You do not collect this from your family until you have been given permission to conduct the interview (assignment 1). Permission letters must be signed prior to commencement of your study. You must keep a copy and give a copy to your participant. You cannot interview the family member until your assignment 1 has been marked and returned to you. Please make sure you also delete the audio recording once you have transcribed the interview. Once you do begin the interview (after you have permission from us – assignment 1) please ask the parent to select a pseudonym for the interview so their identity is less likely to be identified in the transcript and recording.  Please also note that you are not to disclose any sensitive issues or discuss participant details with your peers.

 

 

 

 

TASK 1: Service Folder for Families and Interview Questions for Case Study Family

Date due:        24th March 11.59pm

Weighting:          40%       Word count:    8-9 pages Unit outcomes assessed: 1,2, 3, 5

Graduate capabilities assessed:  Discipline-specific knowledge and skills; Critical, analytical and integrative thinking; Problem-solving and research capability; Effective communication; Engaged ethical, local and global citizens

Part A: Resource Folder (6 pages)

Collect information about five services that provide support to the particular family type you have chosen for assignment 1 &2. You may choose services that are in a particular demographic area or you may look at services that are state or nationally run that relate to the family type you have chosen. For this part of the assessment you need to:

Provide a one page overview for each service that is written in user friendly language (do not copy directly from the website) as the information presented needs to be an accessible resource for staff and families in early childhood services or schools. Make sure you include details about the service – name, contact details, website link and what supports the service offers. This one page review for each service (5 pages in total) needs to also include why you have chosen this service – your rationale of how it is linked to the family type you are examining. Make sure the link to your family type is clear and explicit. For example, if you were choosing a single mother for your case study and they also live in a country town you might write “I have chosen XX service as it supports single parents and it is located geographically close to the mother.”

Your 6th page is an integrated critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the services. Do not just list each service and its strengths and weaknesses on this page. You are synthesising the information, so you may link some services together in terms of their strengths or weaknesses.

Part B: Case Study – rationale and interview questions (2-3 pages)

For this part of the assignment you need to present a rationale for why you have chosen your particular family as well as develop an interview schedule. Your family must have at least one child in an early childhood setting or primary school. You need to identify a family type from a diverse background. You need to choose one of the following types of families:

  • A new immigrant/refugee family to Australia (less than 5 years in Australia)
  • A single mother household
  • A family living in a rural/remote area (outside of a major city or large town)
  • A family in a same-sex relationship
  • A family of children with special needs

 

Draft a set of interview questions (10) that you will use when you interview the family you have identified. The rationale is three to four paragraphs (1 page) in total and should demonstrate an understanding of the family type as well as a brief overview of the family you plan to include in your case study and why, as well as set of interview questions. Your interview should be a maximum length of about 30-45 minutes (this equates to approximately 10 questions depending on the level of detail).

While you are free to choose what questions, you wish to explore you will need to ensure the following areas are addressed:

  • Demographic characteristics of the family (ie., socioeconomic level, age, education, employment, ethnicity, languages spoken, family size)
  • Specific challenges that the family faces (i.e., what are some of the social forces that the family had to confront and accommodate?)
  • Access to informal support networks (i.e., friendship groups, extended family members)
  • Access to formal support services (ie GP, Child Health Maternal Clinic, Family Services, Migrant Resource Centre, Single Parent Family Association)
  • Relationship with their educational service (i.e., Do carers/teachers view families in a positive/negative way? How ‘inclusive’ is the educational setting?)
  • Strengths of the family

While you are not required to include a great deal of reference material in this part of your assignment you will need to have completed a significant amount of your readings and review of the literature to ensure the questions you develop are appropriate and suitable for attaining the type of information you will need for the family type you have chosen when writing up your case study.

YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO CONDUCT THE INTERVIEW UNTIL ASSESSMENT ONE (INCLUDING YOUR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS) HAS BEEN MARKKED AND RETURNED Marking Criteria:

  1. Identified five services and relevance of services for chosen families
  2. Well argued and supported rationale for inclusion of chosen services
  3. Thoughtful and reflective critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the services.
  4. Demonstrated knowledge and skills in using the internet and other community resources
  5. Presentation format that makes it an accessible resource for staff and families in early childhood services or schools
  6. Well formulated rationale of chose family based on facts that are supported by appropriate literature sources
  7. Preparation of interview transcript and use of appropriate questions
  8. Correct APA referencing
Grade ECH326 Marking Criteria: Assessment 1
HD •       Identified 5 relevant services for families with an insightful rationale for their inclusion.

•       Demonstrates insightful rationale of chosen family based on facts that are supported with 5 or more strong sources of evidence specific to the topic.

•       Thoughtful and reflective critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the services.

•       Draws on a broad range of perspectives including the literature to inform the interview questions.

•       Provides a logically structured response, which is both clear and concise. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and referencing are of a very high standard.

•       Meets all task requirements in an exceptional way and with marked excellence.

D •       Identified 5 relevant services for families with a sound rationale for their inclusion.

•       Demonstrates a consistent rationale based on facts that are supported with 5 or more pieces of mostly strong evidence but the evidence is a mixture of strong and weak sources.

•       Sound critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the services.

•       Draws on a range of perspectives including the literature to inform the interview questions.

•       Provides a logically structured response, which is both clear and concise. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and referencing are of a very high standard.

•       Assignment demonstrates excellent achievement of the assignment outcomes.

C •       Identified 5 relevant services for families with a good rationale for their inclusion.

•       Demonstrates a sound rationale based on facts that are supported with 5 or more pieces of evidence but the evidence is a mixture of strong and weak sources.

•       Demonstrated critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the services.

•       Draws on several perspectives including the literature to inform the interview questions.

•       Assignment demonstrates competent achievement of the assignment outcomes.

•       Provides a logically structured response, which is both clear and concise. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and referencing are of a high standard.

P •       Identified 5 relevant services for families with an adequate rationale for their inclusion.

•       Demonstrates an adequate rationale based on facts that are supported with evidence but the evidence is a mixture of strong and weak sources and/or less than 5 sources.

•       Limited critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the services.

•       Draws on a limited perspectives to inform the interview questions.

•       Provides a generally well-structured response, parts of which are clear and concise. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and referencing. are inconsistent.

•       Assignment meets the assignment outcomes in an elementary way.

F •     Your assignment does not meet the stated assignment objectives and outcomes.

 

TASK 2: Family Case Study

Part A: Transcript of interview annotated

Date due:  PART A – 5th May 11.59pm

Weighting:   10%

Word Count: 500 words for the annotations (no page limit on length of the transcript)

Unit outcomes assessed: 3, 4, 5

Graduate capabilities assessed: Discipline-specific knowledge and skills; Critical, analytical and integrative thinking; Problem-solving and research capability; Effective communication.

Using your questions from assignment 1, Part B conduct an interview (this must be virtually – over the phone, zoom etc due to Covid-19 restrictions) with the identified family from assessment 1. You must obtain the participants consent by having them sign and agree to the research (use information consent letter that is on iLearn) and email to the parent/s). Complete interview with family in the 2nd week of semester break. It is important that you delete all names, places or other identifiers from your transcript. It is essential that you keep a signed copy of the consent form. Do not submit a copy of the consent form with your assignment.

For Part A of the assessment please submit:

  • A transcription of the complete interview (if you conduct it another language it must be transcribed in English). There is no page limit for this.
  • Identify key themes from the transcript. Write these themes up in paragraph form. Note why this is a theme, how it may relate to current literature/research on this family type and why you think this is important for this family you interviewed.

While you are waiting on feedback of the analysis of your interview please begin compiling your case study report as this has several components. Once you have received your feedback on Part A please finalise your case study report.

Part B: Case Study report

Date due:  PART B – 4th June 11.59pm

Weighting:   50%

Word Count: 2500 – 3000 words

Unit outcomes assessed: 3, 4, 5

Graduate capabilities assessed: Discipline-specific knowledge and skills; Critical, analytical and integrative thinking; Problem-solving and research capability; Effective communication.

Case Study:

Use the interview data in combination with relevant research to write up a detailed case study on the family. In writing up your case study it is important that you provide a critique of the research literature and draw on your interview data to either support or argue against theoretical arguments and ideas. In writing-up your case study you need to ensure that you (maintain confidentiality) and address the following six key areas (as outlined in Assessment 1):

  • Demographic characteristics of the family
  • Specific challenges that the family faces
  • Access to informal support networks

5) Access to formal support services

  • Relationship with their early childhood educational service
  • Strengths of the family

Case Study Structure

There is a range of formats researchers use in writing up case studies. It is important to remember that this is not a formal empirical study; rather it is a limited, informal case study intended to help you gain a greater understanding of the familial stresses and supports and diversity among Australian families. However, you should follow the conventions of academic research writing in your report. Include the following in some form in your report:

  • Some background about your family participant (age, ethnicity, family situation etc)
  • Purpose of the study
  • Identification of key research issues or theoretical arguments about the family type
  • A description of the interview setting and summary of the questions asked (do not include all the questions you asked in the body of your report – your transcript was submitted for Part A so does not need to be resubmitted for Part B)
  • What you learned about your family participant in terms of the key areas outlined above (i.e., stresses, strengths, formal and informal supports, relationship with educational setting) and how this relates to the research literature (i.e., identify both inconsistencies and consistencies)
  • Implications and recommendations for educational services (relate this to the setting their child/ren is in eg long day care, primary school) You will also need to include a reference list.

General Expectations for Assessment 2

For preparation of Assessment 2 you are expected to read beyond the textbook. Chapters from the textbook will serve as useful initial references and may be included in the Reference List. As a guide to your planning, it is expected that the Reference List should contain at least twelve references that are journal articles, book chapters or books.

 

Marking Criteria:

  1. Report structured clearly that outlines the family case study
  2. Use of evidence (interview data and literature sources) to justify analysis of the case study findings
  3. Identified research issues or theoretical arguments in relation to the case study
  4. Sound implications supported by appropriate sources
  5. Use of APA referencing
Grade ECH326 Marking Criteria: Assessment 2
HD •       Exceptionally critical, relevant and consistent connections made between evidence and interview data.

•       Excellent analysis of the case study.

•       Draws on a broad range of perspectives including the literature to inform the report and these are thoughtful and appropriate.

•       Provides a logically structured response, which is both clear and concise. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and referencing are of a very high standard.

•       Meets all task requirements in an exceptional way and with marked excellence.

D •       Consistent connections made between evidence and interview data.

•       Sound analysis of the case study.

•       Draws on a range of perspectives including the literature to inform the report and these are appropriate.

•       Provides a logically structured response, which is both clear and concise. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and referencing are of a very high standard.

•       Assignment demonstrates excellent achievement of the assignment outcomes.

C •       Clear connections made between evidence and interview data.

•       Good analysis of the case study.

•       Draws on a several perspectives including the literature to inform the report and these are adequate.

•       Assignment demonstrates competent achievement of the assignment outcomes.

•       Provides a logically structured response, which is both clear and concise. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and referencing are of a high standard.

P •       Adequate connections made between evidence and interview data.

•       Adequate analysis of the case study.

•       Draws on limited perspectives including the literature to inform the report and these are poorly constructed or inappropriate.

•       Provides a generally well-structured response, parts of which are clear and concise.

Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and referencing. are inconsistent.

•       Assignment meets the assignment outcomes in an elementary way.

F • Your assignment does not meet the stated assignment objectives and outcomes.