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Today, families even constitute same-sex couples or a circle of friends. A family is considered to be the foundation of any given society as it is where people come into this world, are nurtured and are given the tools necessary to face the world, capable and healthy (Kendall 2008). It is also considered a social institution or primary socialization as it is where young children are taught how to act and how to do things in a specified way for them to fit into society once thy venture out of the home.

A social institution can be defined as an integrated set of social norms which are organized and are for the sole purpose of preserving basic societal values (Garbarino 1992). One society that has perhaps held on to the value of families as a social institution is the Aborigines of Australia. Studies have shown that this particular race has been able to successfully survive in the harsh Australian climate for thousands of years. They previously lived in communities that were known as tribes and individuals shared a sense of community, occupied a recognized territory, shared similar customs and spoke the same language.

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The Aboriginal society implemented a strict legal system that was orally recorded in the Dreaming which was responsible for moral, religious and social values taught daily through the use of storytelling, daily interactions with each other, song, music and dance. Children were taught their kinship relations and protocol that was present in each group member. Families usually constituted of a man, his wife or wives, their children and other relatives where the woman was allowed to retain her spiritual ties with her land of birth and of her husband's culture. A father's brother was regarded as a father to a child and a mother's sisters were regarded as mothers.

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Despite the fact that men had overriding power, women were generally the ones with the authority as well as influence to make important decisions.Family socialisation is important in as far as formation of life long values is concerned. The example of Aboriginal family structure is a good illustration o ethnic identity where children were taught on how to value their roots and carry on with their culture as they too became adults with their own families (Garbarino 1992). Racism has been considered a problem especially for the racial minority groups in the United States and therefore it is important for such families to teach their young ones about the importance of valuing oneself not because of the color of their skin but because of the morals and beliefs they hold in as far as their culture and ethnicity is concerned (Dixon & Scheurell 1995). Families that are economically disadvantaged are likely to affect the life chances of its members as majority of children who grow up in such families fail to get life opportunities such as good education and end up engaging in crimes once they attain adulthood.

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The issue of social disadvantage especially in the family unit can be addressed if governments would consider bridging the gap that exists between the rich and the poor in order for the poor families to get equal opportunities in life and not be discriminated upon due to their economic status. Educational programs should also be offered such as homeschooling for those families who cannot afford to take their children to school due to their socio-economic status or other reasons. Families and especially modern day parents should teach their children about the importance of family values and culture in order to ensure that the family as a social institution is sustained and maintained for generations to come.

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So far the Australian curriculum has catered to the needs of the 21st century learner by being delivered online as majority of learners and young adults spend most of their time online either for social or educative reasons. Online delivery of the Australian curriculum provides users with the capacity to interrogate its multidimensional structure as well as be able to manipulate it according to their individual needs (Stephenson 1998).The Australian curriculum is well aware of the entitlement of each student to understanding, skills and knowledge that provide a basis for successful as well as lifelong learning in addition to their participation in the Australian community.

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As a way of catering to the needs of 21st Century learners the Australian curriculum has given explicit attention to a number of capabilities which include self management, intercultural understanding, creativity, literacy, thinking skills and numeracy (McDonald 1999). It is thus a curriculum that not only places great emphasis on the importance of general capabilities that all individuals use, develop and need in the course of their lives but also provides for foundational understanding, knowledge and skills in the agreed discipline areas (Wyatt-Smith & Cumming 2009).CONCLUSIONThe Australian curriculum is responsible for preparing all young Australian citizens to develop into capable members of society. It is also founded on strong evidence base related to pedagogy, what works in professional settings and learning and has in the recent years been benchmarked against international curricula. 21st Century learning is considered a vital aspiration for Australia and one that is already widely accepted and supported. Even though the Australian curriculum does not ensure it, it is in a position to give educators and learners better strategies and tools to work with.

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Education Assessment in the 21st Century: Connecting Theory and Practice. New York: Springer.FAMILY AS A SOCIAL INSTITUTIONINTRODUCTIONThe family institution is considered to be the oldest social institution in the history of mankind and dates as far back as man came to be. The Bible even records the first family in the book of Genesis which was that of Adam and Eve and their children Cain and Abel (Bessant & Watts 2002). Though there is not a specific definition as to what a family is, it can refer to individuals in one's life who may be related to by marriage, blood or choice often for a lifetime and who tend to hold them dear and would do anything in their power to help the person when need arises (Dixon & Scheurell 1995). Families can either be nuclear which is the common form of a family consisting of a mother, father and child or can be single parent and a child, grandparents/relatives and a child or a group of siblings (Garbarino 1992).

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