Is School an Ecosystem?
Let’s start by defining an ecosystem.
An ecosystem is a community of living organisms and non-living components in an environment. There are primary, secondary and may be tertiary consumers and producers. It is a continuous cycle of interaction between them.
In this example of a school being an ecosystem, it is not only the interaction of teacher and student that allows for growth, but players such as families, communities, cultures, colleagues, and professionals all contribute to the system.
In a healthy classroom ecosystem, students are the primary producers of education, the people that build the classroom environment and keep it alive. Anytime an integral part is removed from the ecosystem, the result can be disastrous. If the interaction becomes less, the producer might become a consumer.
Urie Bronfenbrenner is a Russian born American Psychologist who propounded the theory of Ecological system, where the child is at the core. there are 5 concentric circles that surround the core. Each of these circles has a role to play in the personality of the child.
The immediate environment next to the core, is called the micro system which would deal with the interaction between care givers.
After this is meso system which deals with connections. For instance, it would deal with parents inviting the friends of their child home. Suh children could grow up to be more positive and caring.
The next circle would deal with the indirect environment called Exo-system. Eg A father is upset at work and takes it out on the children. a classic case of Displacement. Such an environment may not be conducive to a balanced growth.
Macro system deals with the social and cultural values – a classic example would be the children grown up in a war torn area would have a different environment from those from a peaceful environment. COVID -19 has changed the psyche of children who have become fearful and helpless making the counsellor involvement a necessity.
Last circle is the chrono-system that deals with changes over time. Conferences have changed to web conferences. People have been using digital news as opposed to newspapers since lockdown.
No matter how free the world is from the dreaded virus, the fact is that the world will not go back to where it was.
Dr Pramila Kudwa – Principal Pawar Public school