This course enables students to draw on sociological, psychological, and anthropological theories and research to analyse the development of individuals, intimate relationships, and family and parent-child relationships. Students will focus on issues and challenges facing individuals and families in Canada’s diverse society. They will develop analytical tools that enable them to assess various factors affecting families and to consider policies and practices intended to support families in Canada. They will develop the investigative skills required to conduct and communicate the results of research on individuals, intimate relationships, and parent-child relationships.

Unit Titles and DescriptionsTime Allocated
Introducing the Family

In unit one, students will learn about what family is. General APA guidelines and formatting will be outlined in this unit so that students are able to properly cite and reference outside material as they complete coursework. Students will learn about the history of the family before moving into what a family looks like today. Students will be introduced to different types of families and explore their own family in detail by completing a family tree.

24 hours
Conceptualizing Families

In unit two, students will gain a broader understanding of the concept of family by looking at various approaches and theoretical frameworks for studying the family. This unit will also introduce students to research methods, which they will use to complete their final major research essay.

20 hours
Adolescence to Adulthood

In unit three, students will be introduced to six different approaches to understanding individual development through the life-span, as well as the theorists who introduced those theories. Students will learn about the years between adolescence and adulthood and how they are important for setting the stage for continued healthy development as individuals make choices that will impact the rest of their lives.

20 hours
The Development of Intimate Relationships

In unit four, students will be introduced to theories of attraction and mate selection and the influence that culture and social norms has on intimate relationships. Students will explore young adulthood today, including teen pregnancy, divorce, and violence and abuse in intimate relationships.

24 hours
Parenting and Child-Rearing

In unit five, students will explore becoming a parent and caregiving, as well as high-tech reproduction and the formation of families. Students will also look at the dark side of family life, including child abuse. At the end of the unit students will complete an assignment in which they are asked to predict what a family in 2100 will look like.

20 hours
Final Assessment
Final Exam

As a final culminating assignment, students will write a 2 hour Final Exam. This exam is worth 30% of the final grade.

2 hours
Total110 hours

Overall Curriculum Expectations

A. Research and Inquiry Skills
A1Exploring: explore topics related to human development, and formulate questions to guide their research;
A2Investigating: create research plans, and locate and select information relevant to their chosen topics, using appropriate social science research and inquiry methods;
A3Processing Information: assess, record, analyse, and synthesize information gathered through research and inquiry;
A4Communicating and Reflecting: communicate the results of their research and inquiry clearly and effectively, and reflect on and evaluate their research, inquiry, and communication skills.
B. Theoretical Perspectives on Development
B1Individual Development: demonstrate an understanding of theoretical perspectives and research on various aspects of individual development;
B2The Development of Intimate Relationships: demonstrate an understanding of theoretical perspectives and research on the development of intimate relationships;
B3The Development of Family and Parent-Child Relationships: demonstrate an understanding of theoretical perspectives and research on the development of family and parent-child relationships.
C. The Impact of Norms, Roles, and Institutions
C1The Effects on Individuals: demonstrate an understanding of the impact of norms, roles, and social institutions on individuals throughout the lifespan;
C2The Effects on Intimate Relationships: demonstrate an understanding of the impact of norms, roles, and social institutions on intimate relationships;
C3The Effects on Family and Parent-Child Relationships: demonstrate an understanding of factors that can affect decisions about whether to have and how to care for children, and of the impact of norms, roles, and social institutions on family and parent-child relationships.
D. Trends, Issues, and Challenges
D1Trends and Challenges for Individuals: demonstrate an understanding of demographic trends related to the lives of individuals and of the impact of social issues and challenges on individual development;
D2Trends and Challenges in Intimate Relationships: demonstrate an understanding of demographic and social trends and issues related to intimate relationships and of strategies for responding to challenges in those relationships;
D3Trends and Challenges in the Family and in Parent-Child Relationships: demonstrate an understanding of demographic trends related to the family and to parent-child relationships and of the impact of social issues and challenges on family development.


Teaching & Learning Strategies:

The nature of the social science and humanities curriculum calls for a variety of strategies for learning. The social science and humanities curriculum is designed both to engage students in reflective learning and to help them develop practical skills. Students are expected to learn and apply the inquiry skills and research methods particular to the discipline, and to conduct research and analysis using both traditional and technological resources.

Since the over-riding aim of this course is to help students use language skillfully, confidently and flexibly, a wide variety of instructional strategies are used to provide learning opportunities to accommodate a variety of learning styles, interests and ability levels.

Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting Strategies of Student Performance:

Our theory of assessment and evaluation follows the Ministry of Education’s Growing Success document, and it is our firm belief that doing so is in the best interests of students. We seek to design assessment in such a way as to make it possible to gather and show evidence of learning in a variety of ways to gradually release responsibility to the students, and to give multiple and varied opportunities to reflect on learning and receive detailed feedback.

Growing Success articulates the vision the Ministry has for the purpose and structure of assessment and evaluation techniques. There are seven fundamental principles that ensure best practices and procedures of assessment and evaluation by Institute of Canadian Education teachers. ICE assessments and evaluations,

  • are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
  • support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
  • are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
  • are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the course and at other points throughout the school year or course;
  • are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
  • provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
  • develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.



The Final Grade:

The evaluation for this course is based on the student’s achievement of curriculum expectations and the demonstrated skills required for effective learning. The final percentage grade represents the quality of the student’s overall achievement of the expectations for the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline. A credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student’s grade is 50% or higher. The final grade will be determined as follows:

  • 70% of the grade will be based upon evaluations conducted throughout the course. This portion of the grade will reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration will be given to more recent evidence of achievement.
  • 30% of the grade will be based on final evaluations administered at the end of the course. The final assessment may be a final exam, a final project, or a combination of both an exam and a project.

The Report Card:

Student achievement will be communicated formally to students via an official report card. Report cards are issued at the midterm point in the course, as well as upon completion of the course. Each report card will focus on two distinct, but related aspects of student achievement. First, the achievement of curriculum expectations is reported as a percentage grade. Additionally, the course median is reported as a percentage. The teacher will also provide written comments concerning the student’s strengths, areas for improvement, and next steps. Second, the learning skills are reported as a letter grade, representing one of four levels of accomplishment. The report card also indicates whether an OSSD credit has been earned. Upon completion of a course, ICE will send a copy of the report card back to the student’s home school (if in Ontario) where the course will be added to the ongoing list of courses on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript. The report card will also be sent to the student’s home address.

Program Planning Considerations:

Teachers who are planning a program in this subject will make an effort to take into account considerations for program planning that aligns with the Ontario Ministry of Education policy and initiatives in a number of important areas.

Planning Programs for Students with Special Education Needs, Program Considerations for English Language Learners, Environmental Education, Healthy Relationships, Equity, and Inclusive Education, Financial Literacy Education, Literacy, Mathematical Literacy, and Inquiry Skills, Critical Thinking and Critical Literacy, The Role of the School Library, The Role of Information and Communications Technology, The Ontario Skills Passport: Making Learning Relevant and Building Skills, Education and Career/Life Planning, Cooperative Education and Other Forms of Experiential Learning, Planning Program Pathways and Programs Leading to a Specialist High Skills Major, Health and Safety, Ethics.


Institute of Canadian Education (ICE), Toronto.

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