Describe how the teacher implements a consideration of the students’ physical development and/or Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model into instruction, assessment, and/or procedures. What more could/should the teacher do in this regard? Provide specific examples and be sure to include a reference in your response.
Mrs. G. takes into consideration her students’ physical development, and incorporates an understanding of Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model in her classroom on a daily basis. I have observed instruction and procedures that Mrs. G. uses which implement aspects of both of these important theories of development.
Mrs. G. takes into consideration her students’ language development by explicitly defining academic language in her instruction. This week I observed Mrs. G. teach a review session of the different types of essays they had covered so far in the class. With regards to academic language, Mrs. G. first asked the class what “synthesis” meant, and let a few students respond. Then she connected the word “synthesis” back to other words that the students are already familiar with, and helped them create a mental visualization of synthesis. Then the proceeded to discuss the parts of the synthesis essay, continuing to create physical and mental visualizations of other academic terms like “source” and “thesis.” In this way, Mrs. G. helped students continue to develop their academic language.
Both classes I have observed with Mrs. G. are early in the morning, and many students are still sleepy when then arrive. I have observed some students resting their heads on their desks and telling each other that they completed their homework after midnight the previous night. Based on this, and the early school start time of 7:45, it seems like some students’ sleep needs are not being met.
Experts say that teens in 10th grade need about 9 hours of sleep each night, but I can see that these students struggle with that.
To help meet this need for students, Mrs. G. could assign bigger assignments to be due on a different day from regular book reports to avoid having too much homework all in one night. She could also give students the weekend on larger projects, giving them more time to complete the assignment.
Opportunities for stretching and physical movement could also help students to be more alert, especially as metal desks are not comfortable and 85 minutes is a long time to be sitting. This may be a good way to transition between learning activities as well, and help students re-focus as they start a new activity.
Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model
Mrs. G. considers the microsystem when teaching all the time. She does a great job of helping students connect what they’re learning in school to other places/people in their microsystem, helping them to see the connections that make up their mesosystem. When discussing essay types and research, Mrs. G. helps students make explicit connections between the research and the types of writing they’ll be doing in the future. She helps them see how what they’re learning in this microsystem—the school—will help them in a future microsystem—college or a career.
Mrs. G. considers the connections between her students’ various microsystems, and how those connections might impact them in her class. Particularly in procedures and dealing with absences: Mrs. G. recognizes that her students have lots of microsystems—school, dance, sports, family—that are all connected in their mesosystems, and when students are absent from her class because of the demands of another of their microsystems, she is considerate and works with students to help them succeed in her class. Because her procedures don’t punish students who have overlapping connections, she helps them to be successful in all of their microsystems.
During instruction, I observed Mrs. G. this week connecting the larger culture, govt., news, politics back to the class. She was teaching about reliable news sources in context of our country, and relating this back to what the students are doing in class. In this way, she is bringing the macrosystem of the students’ larger environment down into the microsystem and helping students see how the events in the macrosystem are applicable to them.