The birth of a new child usually brings jubilation to the parents. After all of the initial celebrations have ended, and the parents bring the infant home, this is when the child’s development begins. Even before the celebrations begin, the child’s development begins at the fetal stage (Boyd, Johnson, & Bee, 2009). Bronfenbrenner’s Systems theory describes how external environments and individuals affect the development of a child (Boyd, Johnson, & Bee, 2009). The relationships are interconnected among all individuals and their environments (Boyd, Johnson, & Bee, 2009). These environments are referred to as spheres. Bronfenbrenner classified the spheres; starting from the outside as the macrosystem, exosystem, mesosystem, and microsystem (Boyd, Johnson, & Bee, 2009). To illustrate the use of this theory, I will provide examples of past experience and present examples for each sphere.
The macrosystems’ policies and beliefs are based on a sociological context that affects society as a whole (Boyd, Johnson, & Bee, 2009). This would include cultural norms, customs and policies that are passed on by organizations; such as educational institutions and governments (Sontag, 1996). In the past, I was taught the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in elementary school. This would be the constitutional rights of any Canadian citizen; such as the freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the right to mobility (Government of Canada, 2011). As Canadian citizens, we were taught early in childhood, that we had fundamental freedoms to express our views publicly without any reprisal at the macrosystem level; schools are told by governments what to teach to the students (Sontag, 1996). Presently, there are new laws that are constantly being created to adapt to new cultural norms. An example of this would be same sex marriage. Same sex marriage has become a norm in Canada in recent years. This alternative definition of marriage used to be considered taboo to even mention it publicly in most western societies. With these new laws, the topic of same sex marriage will also be taught in school to new students just like how the Charter of Rights was taught to me in school.
Within the exosystem are the institutions that make up the socioeconomic system (Boyd, Johnson, & Bee, 2009). These are the elements of the bigger macrosystem. According to Swick and Williams (2006), “we all live in systems psychologically and not physically; these are exosystems” (p. 372). These would include daycares, social service agencies and health care services (Boyd, Johnson, & Bee, 2009). As a member of a low income family, there was a need to access social services agencies in order to meet the needs of being fed and paying the bills. Along with the visit to the social service agency, the social worker would also connect the family with a food bank. Even though the child does not directly need the service, the parent will use these...