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Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory attempts to explain how the interaction between the intrinsic characteristics of children and their environment affects how they develop and grow up. It emphasizes the importance of assessing children while in different surroundings to understand their growth and development (Elliott and Davis 3). The purpose of this paper is to allow me to reflect on my childhood through the perspective of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory and assess the impact of various interactions and environments on my adult life and interactions.
I lived with my parents. My father was my mentor and mainly taught me what is wrong and what is right. My mother was a housewife, and she raised me as she carried out other chores. I was an only child and I learned to appreciate my own company. I began school at the age of 5, although this experience was initially scary I learned to make friends. I usually played in the yard at home. Living with my parents made my childhood comfortable and I learned to perform simple chores.
Being an only child meant that I did most things alone. My family taught me the importance of being responsible and the division of duties in adulthood. Early schooling enabled me to create relationships with people that were not my immediate relatives. I have grown to become a hardworking and responsible adult that enjoys making friends.
I was born in China. We moved to the United States when I was aged 3. We lived in a rural neighborhood with other families while in the US. In both countries, we had friendly neighbors. Elementary school exposed me to American culture, and I made many friends, also taking part in basketball. These interactions taught me to appreciate both friends and neighbors. I learned and adopted a new culture and also teamwork in sports or any other joint activities. In my adult life, I can understand people from different backgrounds, create lasting friendships, and be a team player at work.
My extended family lives in China where my grandmother helped to raise me. I played with my neighbors in both China and the US. We would also walk to school together and help each other with homework. My father works as an accountant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. All of my needs were met as I was the sole child and the center of attention. We are a conservative family, but we interacted well with our neighbors. I attended a state-funded public school; thus, I appreciate the role of government institutions in providing essential amenities. These exosystems taught me the importance of extended family and social relations. My parents have also instilled in me the benefits of hard work.
Chinese culture promotes hard work whereas American culture encourages exploration and free expression. Both of them may lead to a desire for success. During my childhood in America, the social and political climate was stable. Socially, most minorities were advocating for recognition and equality. Both cultures have shaped me to identify and acknowledge diversity. I desire to work hard like my parents and be successful, just as most Americans. I appreciate social equality and dislike racism. I adhere to the norms in my macrosystem because they are sensible and make me a better citizen.
I have realized that as children grow, they are exposed to varying environmental factors that shape their adult lives. My interactions with other people will change because I understand that each person has different experiences growing up. I must, therefore, become competent enough to interact appropriately with people from various cultures. I have also learned the importance of norms such as hard work, respect, and understanding of individual roles. I am more willing to pay taxes because they played a role in my education and I am also ready to align with national values.
Elliott, Sue, and Julie M. Davis. “Challenging Taken-For-Granted Ideas in Early Childhood Education: A Critique of Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory in The Age of Post-Humanism.” Research Handbook on Childhood Nature: Assemblages of Childhood and Nature Research, edited by Amy Cutter-Mackenzie, Karen Malone and Elizabeth Barrett Hacking, Springer International Publishing AG, 2018, pp. 1-36.