A Discussion of School and Community Influences on Human Development

Topics: High school, Adolescence, Sixth grade Pages: 6 (1977 words) Published: November 29, 2011
This chapter explores the impact that both schools and communities have on human development. Both authors argue that schools and communities have impact on children’s social-development, education and behavior (Eccles and Roeser, 2005). The chapter focuses on how schools either support or reinforce the developmental capabilities or difficulties of children. Eccles and Roeser also discuss new research examining the impact that neighborhoods and communities have on both positive and negative opportunities for development (2005). This research in this field is important because without an understanding of the impact outside forces have on the growing child it is impossible to understand fully what has shaped their development.

Three important research questions considered in this field of study include: What impact does the nature of the school structure have on children? What is the impact of different instructional methods on the development of children and adolescence? How do peers and peer relationships influence human development? I have examined three articles that attempt to answer these questions. Kindermann (1993) attempts to discover if children’s natural peer selection is reflective of the motivation to learn in school, and whether the motivation changes over time. In a study by Midgley, Anderman and Hicks (1995) different teaching styles, transition from elementary to middle school and goal orientation were examined to see if the changes would define how motivation to learn is negatively impacted in early adolescence. In a longitudinal research study by Madon, et al. (2001) teacher expectations and self-fulfilling prophecies are explored to see the impact on the developing child.

In this chapter the authors use the section on Schools and Human Development seeks to develop our understanding of how the “ecology” of the classroom impacts the developing child. It is an examination of the school as a whole instead of the more typical research into family and the child’s peers (Eccles and Roeser, 2005). The authors premise their discussion of school environment on four assumptions: that school is based on multiple levels of regulation, that everything with school environment is inter-related, that there is a dynamic relationship between the levels, and that school processes change throughout a child’s (educational) life (Eccles and Roeser, 2005).

The authors divide school organization into six levels, with the third level split into three sub-levels. Within these levels the authors stress that there are various ways in which these organizations interact to shape the experiences not only of children and adolescences but also of teachers; and that systematic differences within the organizations explain the differences in teachers’ behavior and children’s development (Eccles and Roeser, 2005). Within the Teacher Belief’s section of the chapter Eccles and Roeser explore teacher expectations on student achievement, and how the different perceptions that teachers have of the student impact both the student’s learning and behavioral development (2005). In one of the studies cited in the chapter Madon et al. examines the role of teacher expectations on the development of self-fulfilling prophecies (2001). This field is important to researchers because teacher expectations on student’s abilities may effect how students view themselves. Such influence may impact future the academic pursuits and occupational goals of the student (Madon et al, 2001).
Self-fulfilling prophecies defined as “false beliefs that lead to their own fulfillment” (Madon et al. 1215) and self-verification theory, the notion that individuals seek out information that is consistent with their own self-concepts, form the basis of their study. They wanted to learn whether or not, if both students and teachers had access to highly reliable information, would self-fulfilling prophecies and self-verification occur...
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