Theexosytem, defines the whole social system which does not directly affect the child.In this system therefore, the structures will influence the child’s growth and developmentby interacting with other structures which exist in the child’s mirosystem(Berk, 2000). It presents the linkages that exist between systems where one ofthe systems doesn’t directly contain the child but the effects can beindirectly felt by the child. Some of the exosytem that affects a child’sgrowth are family social networks (Cochrant et al.
1990), parent’s workingplace (Eckenrode & Gore, 1990) and neighborhood-community settings (Pence,1988). The child at this level has no direct contact to various social networksor parent’s work place , but any positive or negative effect caused by changingany of the named structures has rippling effect on the child.Berk(2000) defines macrosystem to be comprised of cultural and subcultural values,customs, and laws. Bronfenbrenner adds lifestyle, opportunities, materialresources, hazards and opportunities to macrosystem. The cultural backgrounds include the socio-economic well-being of afamily or an individual, the tribal or racial grouping and the developmentstatus of the country a person is living in. A child growing in a rich familywill end up in a more developed school with better amenities as compared tothose who are born in poor families. Some cultures discriminate against thegirl child especially in African countries where some of them deprives them theopportunity to attend school. This will in turn slow down their development.
Thechronosystem brings in the element of time in relation to a child’s environmentand development. The things that do change with time as a child develops willhave an effect on his development. These elements can be due to external factorssuch as losing a parent or internal factors such as the changes due to adolescencewhich comes with physiological changes. It also includes the socialand historical settings that are of influence on a child’s life. Variousresearches in education also acknowledge the importance of school-community partnering thatpromotes student development. According to Boyd and Crowson (1993),schools should “reach out into the community in an attempt to strengthen thesocial capital available to children”. In order to achieve academic success,the resources required are enormous and some are beyond the reach of thefamilies and schools (Heath & McLoughlin, 1987).
Many parents are facedwith various demands at their places ofwork and the diversity experienced amongthe students are some of the major reasonswhy families and schools alone cannot bearthe burden of ensuring what can be referred to as a “well developed child”happen. Hence there is a need to bring the whole community to help indeveloping a child. There is an old adage that “it takes a whole community tobring up a child”.
The theory of overlapping spheres of influence (Epstein, 1995)singles the community as a major setting where learning takes place forchildren. Further, she asserts that, there is a dire need for families, schoolsand community to work in unison in order to achieve academic excellence and helpin promoting social and emotional satisfaction of the children.