Creating to adjust manners of teaching as

Creating Opportunities For Successful
Learning In Light Of Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory

 

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
In the Name of
Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

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Introduction

Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory acknowledges the
effect that various interrelated environments has on growth and development. The
microsystem represents the immediate environment which includes the
child’s relationships with family, teachers, and peers. Microsystems increase
in amount and complexity as children develop (Stivaros, H., 2007). The mesosystem
comprises links between various microsystems, such as the relationship between the
caregivers and educator, or friends and family. The exosystem refers to the community
that indirectly influences a child’s learning experience, for example the parents’
workplace or extended relatives. The broad external layer consisting of
culture, religious beliefs, public policies, and the economy, is known as the
macrosystem. Knowledge of these interconnected systems can enrich the educator’s
understanding of a student’s background and behaviour. This enables one to adjust
manners of teaching as required.

Creating a Nurturing Climate

Learning involves a student’s internal
cognitive processes in tandem with environmental influences. These external systems contribute to constructive
or deteriorating classroom behaviour, therefore, it is the
educator’s responsibility to familiarize oneself with various aspects of
the student’s life. Educators should remain aware of this fact and tailor guidance
that helps to keep these systems balanced. When the values of multiple
microsystems are congruent, it creates a supportive link which bolsters the
child’s performance and development (Stivaros, H., 2007). An example of
divergent values is when parents value academic success, but peers do not. This
creates pressure that negatively impacts progress. As a part of the school microsystem, the educator can serve as a
positive role model for students to look up to. Therefore, by attaching
significance to learning matter and emphasizing the value of learning, the educator
can align the values of the entire class. Before lessons, it helps to set clear
objectives while providing learners with the guidance to meet expectations. It
is important to reassure them that even if the they struggle, they will receive
support, as long as they try their best.

Bronfenbrenner’s 21st hypothesis indicates that the effectiveness
of learning in group settings depends on how the educator interacts with
students. According to research (Bronfenbrenner, 2009), educators in smaller
groups tend to engage in more social interaction with children. In a class with
many students, the educator’s attitude towards each student on an individual
level is important. Care and attention directly influences the child’s receptiveness.
Therefore, in order to reinforce children, the educator can engage in
behaviours like questioning, acknowledging, and praising. The physical environment can be enhanced via colourful, educational
posters and flexible desk arrangements that allow students to face each other
or the teacher as needed. Creating a supportive, nurturing environment has
a significant impact on making the classroom a system in which flourishing
behaviour can occur, thus encouraging task-oriented and self-regulated learning.

Strengthening Relationships

According to systems theory, a parent experiencing occupational stress
or financial strain can negatively influence the child’s attitude and school
progress. Some students misbehave to gain attention or act
out due to stress. A caring educator is especially important for those without support
at home. One can implement small but positive acts (Stivaros, H., 2007) in
daily interactions such as smiling while greeting children. It
is important to avoid criticism when assuming the role as the listener. Students
who have a positive relationship with the educator are passionate and greatly
involved in learning, likewise, these educators are more productive and
experience positive emotions in class, influencing the overall atmosphere. Additionally,
the educator should take note of instances of bullying, discourage derision, and
aim to create a sense of belonging by pairing peers to work together to
complete activities. Creating a community-environment within the class promotes
positive feelings towards the school, facilitates interaction of peers from
diverse backgrounds, and increases the willingness to learn.

Mutual respect and support between educators and parents is beneficial
to a child’s development. (Bronfenbrenner, 2009). The child may experience
disequilibrium if parents feel negatively towards educators or peers. Therefore, the educator should endeavour to avoid mistrust and
antagonism with people who play major roles in the child’s life
in order to enable optimal conditions that lead to successful students. A
joint dyad (Stivaros, H., 2007) can be achieved by keeping in
touch with caregivers via parent-teacher meetings or phone calls. Educators
should inform caregivers of a child’s accomplishments or potential challenges,
allowing the opportunity to collaborate in finding solutions. In turn, parents
may provide insightful information regarding out-of-school factors that could
be influencing the child.

Students with involved parents have a
higher potential for achievement. Educators can improve the learning experience
by getting parents involved in school events or assigning homework that
requires a parent’s assistance. In this way, parents can gain insight regarding the child’s progress and learning environment. Furthermore, it is important
to understand the students’ cultural background, as teaching strategies may
need to be adjusted for increased effectiveness. For example, in the
scenario of a classroom with Muslim students, a holistic educator would seek to
connect coursework with Islamic wisdom, not only for the sake of creating
meaningful links that will facilitate the retrieval of information, but also to
impart knowledge that will benefit learners in this life and the next. In this
manner, knowledge is made relevant to children.

Implementing Molar and Authentic Activities

Playing games influence cognitive development as well as the development
of conformity versus autonomy (Bronfenbrenner, 2009). A sense
of autonomy can be learned through manageable but mentally stimulating tasks such
as puzzles. Molar activities are continuous, purposeful activities that increase
perseverance and motivation. They include tasks like building blocks, reading, or
outdoor activities like searching for shells. The greater the meaningfulness of
the activity, the greater the chance for successful completion. Associating learning
material with fun, interactive activities can enhance a child’s comprehension. The educator should ensure that all children are active participants,
and should tactfully mediate children who dominate class discussions.

Since certain schemes are unique to
particular cultures, learning material might not be processed the same way by
pupils. Therefore, the educator must adapt and explain accordingly, making
lessons culturally relevant while encouraging perspective-taking. Supervised E-learning
can teach children how to utilise technology while exposing them to larger
systems that compromise the world. Bronfenbrenner proposed introducing a curriculum for caring in
which children engage with sickly elderly or younger children, therefore, an
educator can incorporate community work in which students
interact with clinics and hospitals.  This would be beneficial in extending the
child’s microsystem, creating links on a broader spectrum, as well as fostering
positivity and the desire to gain knowledge that will impact the wider community.
Implementing authentic activities via community work or roleplay
promotes meaningful learning and aids in creating a strong connection between
learning material and real-world scenarios.  

Conclusion

Other than the home environment, children spend the most time in
the classroom. Therefore, the educator plays a key role in facilitating the development
of the child within the microsystem of the educational institution, which in
turn influences the child with respect to other systems. It is important to
create a productive classroom environment as per the considerations and
strategies mentioned above. Furthermore, Muslim educators can find inspiration
in the Sunnah regarding ways in which the Prophet Muhammad ? dealt with various individuals, particularly his gentle and
patient mannerisms towards children. These noble characteristics would prove
beneficial and influential even within a culturally diverse classroom.

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