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Bronfenbrenner came up with a theory of ecology that holistically explains the development of a human being. He was a psychologist who lived from 1917 - 2005. These developments have been divided to stages that are chronological in design. They relate with each other to complete a system and are thought to be having rules governing them. The aim of coming up with this model is evaluate how these phases influence and relate with each other to bring out, in whole, how these stages make up the environment which completes a human being. The information gathered by this study was enabled by observation as the primary method and so it is applicable in experimental instances.
These stages begin with the first one often called micro system. It consists of the closest groups a person relates and interacts with. These are: family, neighborhood, school community and others. This group(s) influence a person's way of living and behavior. For instance, a child will pick out good or bad habits depending on what he or she sees, hears and taught by other influential people like parents. It has also been discovered that a child's behavior can also influence the character and beliefs of the guardians or parents.
The next stage is the meso system. It explains the way the different groups in the Micro system, relate with each other. For example, how the family would get along with the neighborhood or the church environment .Another good example would be how a teenager would be pressured by other friends to an extent of changing relations with his or her family or even negatively affect class performance.
The following stage is exo system. This one is even more intricate because it affects the individual indirectly and that he or she cannot control the settings. Therefore, it determines how a person will live. For example, an individual cannot dictate who will be his neighbours because everyone is free to reside anywhere so long as inhabiting the place is legal. Circumstances can also arise and a guardian is unable to cater for the family, this would change the relationship between members of the family.
After that the macro system follows. This is considered the most external part of an individual's environment. This stage includes the beliefs and culture which have been adopted by a community. An individual might not be able to manipulate or influence most of these cultural norms and beliefs because they are inherent and already exist anyway. What actually happens is that an individual will be absorbed and unknowingly begin practicing them. Some examples are religion and modes of leadership.
The last phase is called chrono system and it is made up of the experiences and eventualities of an individual. The life story is also situated in this phase because the experiences and events are part of one's history.
Bronfenbrenner's development theory is very realistic and has been practical in studying children's growth and development. Throughout my life since infancy, the systems are very evident. I grew up with a complete family. My parents taught me good behavior as well as teaching me how to relate with others. We lived in a big neighborhood where there were many friends and the schools which we attended. All this groups reflect the contents of a micro system.
My friends and I attended the same school. Some of my friends were ill- mannered such that at one time or the other they made me drop in my school grades and get at logger heads with my parents. The teachers and my parents had to meet and discuss about my class performance. During school events like sports and other festivities parents were invited and my parents mostly enjoyed watching me compete in tournaments. Once in a while there were get together parties for our neighborhood. All this brings out the meso system phase which Bronfenbrenner describes.
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The school we attended to was a public school and the government built more houses in our estate, so we got new neighbours. Unfortunately, there was a year that the country's economy experienced a recession and this made many people of the working class to be rendered jobless. Some parents from my neighborhood found it so hard to make ends meet. Other people used all their savings and ended up in the streets. The government had to put a lot of effort to counter the recession. Several years later, the economy grew and most people were able to raise their living standards. This was an advantage to their children because they would not suffer any more. Most people invested and became entrepreneurs thus creating more job opportunities for others. This stage is most definitely the exo system stage.
My parents are Christians therefore I was introduced to it and imparted with the teachings of this religion. Everyone belongs to a certain ethnic group or family lineage and they learn about what is entailed in their cultures and values. I was taught and had to adopt the values and culture of our lineage and have since continued practicing it. The diverse ethnic groups live together and get along because peace and unity is the motto. Members of the country appreciate each other's cultures such that there are cultural centers which people visit to find out about other communities that they are interested in learning. The centers also attract both domestic and foreign tourists. This country upholds the rule of law and the leaders embrace democracy, which is an effective type of leadership. This phase represents the macro system.
There are many experiences which I have experienced in the past. For example childhood occurrences when we used to sneak out of school or home to go and play with friends and our baby sitter would look for us everywhere. Teenage partying, exciting school trips and camps. The most memorable one was a school trip in elementary school. We went to see landscapes and beautiful sceneries. We got late and had to travel back home at night. Unfortunately, one of the wheels in our van had a puncture and there was neither a spare one nor a garage to fix the wheel. At first, it was scary because it was in the middle of a deserted landscape but we got help from a police checkpoint which was a few miles away. Life in high school was also memorable as well as that in campus or college. All these events and experiences constitute the chrono system.
All those stages would obviously influence everyday decisions of a person. This would be because of factors like the friends of an individual, the values instilled in the person, schools attended, family, political factors, economic factors and even the neighborhood. After getting a degree from campus, several factors from the levels of influence of the ecology development, made me consider pursuing a master's degree.
My family encouraged me to further my studies so that I could be in most appropriate position to manage family enterprises. It would equip me with more knowledge and skills as well as being exemplary to my children by encouraging them to study as much as they can because knowledge is power. This kind of influence is from micro system level. Teachers and friends also encouraged me to advance since it would create a wider job market for me and increase my chances of being satisfied in my future placements. This level of influence would be meso system. It is crystal clear that indeed these levels of influence do exist and they relate to make up one's personality.
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