The Impacts Of Ecology On Child Development And Education

The Impacts Of Ecology On Child Development And Education


TOC o “1-3” h z u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc376593264 h 1Contribution of Ecological theory the understanding of typical and atypical child development in relation to the factors and possible interventions for child abuse PAGEREF _Toc376593265 h 3Developmental stage between birth and eighteen months PAGEREF _Toc376593266 h 3Eighteen months to about three years PAGEREF _Toc376593267 h 4Age three to age five PAGEREF _Toc376593268 h 5Age six to eleven years PAGEREF _Toc376593269 h 6Twelve years to fifteen years PAGEREF _Toc376593270 h 7Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc376593271 h 9References PAGEREF _Toc376593272 h 9

IntroductionHuman development is a gradual process that starts right away at conception stage. This development is split in several phases. Each phase in development is distinct in nature since it’s characterized by specific characteristics that are unique in nature to that particular stage in a normal case and where one is not fixated. However, fixation or any negative effect in development results in a condition that is referred to as atypical development which is characterized by some abnormalities in development. Under normal conditions and factors during development period, typical development is always in place where normal development process of a human being takes place. One carries characteristics from his/her early childhood to maturity. Becket (2002) affirms this by arguing that unique children traits are hard to disappear even in adulthood.

During development, there are several factors that determine personal characteristics. These factors can largely be categorized as inborn and acquired characteristics. According to Bronfenbrenner (1994, p.p38) ecological theory of human development takes place through processes of progressively more complex reciprocal interaction between an active, evolving biopsychological human organism and the persons, objects and symbols in its immediate environment. The ecological theory divides development phases into six namely: Microsystems, mesosystems, chronosystems, ecosystems, exosystems and macrosystems.

Bronfenbrenner (1994, p.p39) defines Microsystems phase to be “a pattern of activities, social roles and interpersonal relations experienced by the developing person in a given face to face setting with particular physical, social … sustained progressively more complex interaction with and activity in the immediate environment”. This relates to the environment in which the individual interacts with that determines his/her development. On mesosystems, Bronfenbrenner (1994, p.p39) says that it comprises of the linkages and processes taking place between two or more settings containing the developing person for example the relations between home and school. This implies that an individual development for example in behavior or in decision making will be determined by these different environments that have influence on ones life. On the other part, Bronfenbrenner (1994, p39) gives an explanation of exosystems to comprise linkages and processes taking place between two or more settings and of which one does not contain the person but the event in that setting indirectly influences the individual. This means that an individual development is influenced by another indirectly for example, a child’s development will be influenced by a parent’s work place although the work place of the parent is not directly linked to the home setting. This is so since the policies at work for example, elongated working hours will reduce the parent’s conduct with the child hence affecting his/her development.

On the other hand macrosystems is said to be consisting of overarching patterns of micro, meso- and exosystems characteristics of a given culture or subculture. This puts development of an individual to be determined by a culture of that group of people which he/she belongs to. This means that culture can retard and accelerate development of a given individual given that’s culture’s practices and beliefs. Chronosystems comprises of consistency over time not only in the characteristics of the person but also of the environment in which that person lives (Bronfenbrenner, 1994).

Contribution of Ecological theory the understanding of typical and atypical child development in relation to the factors and possible interventions for child abuseAccording to Herbert (2004), there are bipolar pair and concept of assimilation and accommodation in the development of a human being. By assimilation, he meant that children alter the environment to meet their own needs and by accommodation, children modify their own behavior in response to the demands of their milieu. This therefore indicates that under a normal development of a child, he/she can modify environment to meet his/her needs or he/she might adapt to the prevailing conditions in the environment to meet his/her needs in the process of development. Kail and Cavanaugh (2008) argue that, in ecological theory, human development is inseparable from the environmental contexts in which a person develops. It’s therefore evident that all these environmental aspects are interrelated like spider’s web in such a way that no aspect can be separated from the rest.

Therefore, in handling this question, this paper will utilize the developmental stages of a human being in relation to age periods. The possible abuses that may arise as a result of some of the ecological factors that may present themselves in an individual’s development process according to Herbert (2004) in his Typical and Atypical Development will be taken into account.

Developmental stage between birth and eighteen monthsHerbert (2003) characterizes this stage to comprise a sense of trust and security. The most facilitating factors to this stage are addressing of the infants needs. If the infant receives the desired needs by the caregiver or the parent, the infant develops a strong sense of trust. However, neglect during this development stage results into abuse where by deprivation of these needs and inadequate appropriate love during these infancy period for example early weaning results to negative development to the child (Hockey & James, 2002). For example, the child will develop mistrust which may be of an everlasting effect in his/her life as he/she may not develop trust ever in his/her life. However, neglect to the infancy may be as a result of interrelated ecological factors. For example, due to work related conditions of the parents, they may not be available during this period to provide much needed infant needs or the parents may not be in a financial state that can provide for the required needs for the developing infant. When infants loose trust at this early stage in their life, there is always higher tendency that they may not develop trust in life and hence their life might comprise of abusive behaviors’ as a result of mistrust hence affecting their personality.

In addition to these, according to Daniel et al (1999), a child who is between six months and 18 months is vulnerable to abuse that result from the effects of separation because that these stage, they have already developed or identified their trusted care takers and therefore, they experience their loss in pervasive sense. On the other hand that one who may have several caretakers is vulnerable to the abuse in such a way that he/she may not develop a good attachment in their early stages in life.

Eighteen months to about three yearsDuring this stage in development, there are some of the facilitating factors which determine it. Some of the key factors which determine it are the rewarding of the child’s actions (Bowlby, 1988). For example, if a child does something right and a parent gives congratulatory remarks, it will be a reward on the part of the child and therefore, he/she will be encouraged to continue doing that kind of action. However, if a child’s action is full of lamentation remarks to each and everything that he/she does, then a child is likely to develop self doubt, shame and guilt to everything he/she does. When child’s feeling of guilt outweighs a sense of autonomy, developmental stages such as a sense of adequacy and learning of skills like talking will be greatly hampered. This will mean that this child will have problems of talking and even of communicating in his/her mature life. He/she might also not be confident in whatever he/she does. However, this condition is determined of ecological factors that a child is operating in. For example, a child whose parents are always moody due to some other factors like stress might not be seeing any positive things done by their child and therefore, any action by the child to them is wrong that needs rebuke on punishment. An exosystem factors might also be a contributing factors for example employed parents who don’t have enough time with their child and therefore, a child is left in the care of a hired caretaker who is not concerned with the well being of the child may abuse the child in this manner by never appreciating child’s effort.

In addition to these, a child is required to develop some intrinsic characteristics, for example, he/she is expected to develop some feeling of responsibility and personal connection with negative life events according to Daniel, et al (1999) when a child fails do develop this characteristics, he/she is exposed to vulnerability abuse in future separations which tends to destroy their confidence in their personality. Moreover, during this phase in development, a child will challenge authority, may render them to a risk of physical or emotional abuse (Empson & Nabuzoka, 2003). This kind of abuse comes as a result of the caretakers trying to instill discipline to the child where by some of these caretakers do not use the correct measures in instilling this discipline hence in the long run abusing them.

Age three to age fiveThis is a stage that is characterized by a feeling of initiative of reality testing, imitation of behavior of the adults and imaginations. This stage is therefore characterized by parents accepting child’s curiosity. Parents or caregivers should not always question a child about his/her activities. Child’s at this stage need autonomy in their acts so as to enhance their sense of initiative (Bowlby, 1988). This development stage is hampered when there is strict disciplining of the child in his/her activities, rigid attitudes that interfere with child’s reality testing. Proper up bring of a child during this phase in development will ensure that the child becomes innovate in his/her ideas or actions. When this phase is interfered with, a child’s innovative development will be abused and that child will always fear to explore new things, he/she will never be innovative and h/she might remain docile in life (Bee, 2006).

Under typical development, this is the stage where a child has reached an age where by he/she is taken to school. However, there are some intrinsic characteristics postulated by Daniel et al (1999) that expose this child to some sort of abuse. For example, a child who is slow in learning new things is exposed to abuse by his/her instructors especially when the potential of such a child has not been identified. Undue punishment may be inflicted to the child and he/she may feel out of place all through the school going phase, this might even lead to dropping out of school (Hockey & James, 2002).

Age six to eleven yearsThis development period is characterized by some sense of duty and accomplishment (Bee, 2006; Herbert, 2004). This stage is characterized laying aside of fantasies and play, undertaking real tasks, developing academic and social competencies. Moreover as Bowlby (1988) postulates, this stage is characterized by a child encountering more success than failures at home and at school. This makes a child to have a greater sense of industry than that of inferiority. At this stage, success give the courage to the child to carry on doing things that he/she feels that he will prosper and make him/her a better person in life. However, limitations which may lead to a feeling of failure and hence a feeling of inferiority in addition of poor work are likely to inhibit a child from developing an industrious character. A child development is likely to be abused when he/she is exposed to poor ecological factors like poor learning environment, inadequate resources that hinder learning process. This will result to a child’s feeling of inadequacy and inferiority in whatever he/she performs and in the long run become a failure in life (Empson & Nabuzoka, 2003).

Twelve years to fifteen yearsAccording to Herbert (2004), a child is supposed to develop a sense of identity. This is however determined if the person can reconcile diverse roles, abilities and values, be able to see their continuity with the past and the future. A sense of personal identity is supposed to be developed and be a massed. During this phase, a person is required to have defined his/her roles as per his/her gender. This is highly determined by several ecological factors for example, a society in which an individual lives may dictate roles to be undertaken by specific gender. However, a failure of the society to provide clear distinct roles to an individual during this phase, it might results to provision of roles and standards by certain cliques which are not in that case desirable in the society. This might result to a child abuse of behavior since behaviors that will be acquired by one will be against the norms of the society (Hockey & James, 2002). For example, a child might be couched by already defiant groups of the society like the homosexuals which is against the norms of most society to pick up this behavior. A child might therefore be sodomized knowing that it’s the right societal behavior.

However, apart from the developmental stages in terms of age periods, there are also other ecological factors that are possible factors for child’s abuse. To begin with, during the infancy of the baby, there are some intrinsic characteristics that a child may posses that might lead to atypical development and which as a result may lead to child abuse. For example, a child who is born prematurely, that who is born with some disabilities, the one who cries and cant be comforted and a child with unusual temperament as Daniel et al (1999) assert. The authors assert that a child who is born of a wrong sex and who may resemble someone who is hated by the parent are vulnerable to abuses. Some of the children who posses these intrinsic characteristics are in most cases mistreated by their care giver, lack enough parental love and therefore, they are exposed more to the abuses in the environment than those without these characteristics (Fernando, 2001).

Typical development for example in the case of some presence of disability may also result to abuse under influence of some ecological factors. Some of the ecological factors which pose a risk of abuse to a child according to Daniel et al (1999) include cultural factors, extra stress on the care givers in the family, institutional abuse, lack of treatment or opportunity to learn, dilemma of particular disability.

Having discussed these factors at length, it is prudent to look at how they abuse development among children.

Cultural factors: this is the way in which the society discriminates against those which some form of disability according to Daniel et al (1999). This discrimination is likely to deprive a child some rights and opportunities. For example, in other societies, such children are not allowed to mingle freely with their typical peers hence this is likely to retard their development both mentally and physically.

On extra stress on the care givers in the family setting: the more a disabled child is helpless, the more he/she is vulnerable to exploitation; for example, he/she may face sexual abuse. Communication problems also render them helpless in seeking help. Institutional abuse result when there is total abuse of or neglect of the social and intellectual development of the child. This affects them in normal development especially their mental development is largely hampered (Oliver, 1996).

Conclusion Ecological theory in relation to typical and atypical child development provides a good understanding in the development process of an individual. It brings out clearly why we have variance in development of individuals under same environment and in different environments. Ecological factors are therefore important in determining the development process one will go through and it provides evidence for the abuses that take place in the stages of an individual development. However, a child development is determined by they way he/she is brought up for example Howe et al (1999) puts it that coercive children are generally attention seeking and socially disruptive.

ReferencesBeckett, C 2002, Human Growth and Development, Sage Publications: London.

Bee, H 2006, The Developing Child, Harper & Row.

Bowlby, J 1988, The Making and Breaking of Affectionate Bonds, Tavistock.

Bronfenbrenner, U 1994, Ecological Models of Human Development, Oxford. London.

Daniel, B, Wessell, S & Robbie, G 1999, Child Development for Child Care and Protection Worker, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London.

Empson, J & Nabuzoka, D 2003, Atypical Child Development in Context, London, Palgrave

Fernando, S 2001, Mental Health, Race & Culture 2nd ed., London, Palgrave.

Herbert, M 2004, Typical and atypical development: from conception to adolescence, John Wiley & Sons: London.

Hockey, J & James, A 2002, Social Identities across the Life Course, London, Palgrave

Howe, D et al. 1999, Attachment Theory, Child Maltreatment and Family Support, Macmillan Press, London.

Kail, RV & Cavanaugh, JC 2008, Human Development: A life Span View, Cenage learning, Wadsworth Publishing.

Oliver, M 1996, Understanding disability: from theory to practice, Basingstoke, Macmillan