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Upon reflection, I have discussed how changes in my motivation levels were severely impacted both negatively and positively in year 9 due to unexpectedly flying overseas for a very sick family member. Bronfenbrenner’s sociocultural model of development is the “concept of the ‘ecological niche’ is a very useful way to think about and analyze the context of childhood” (Clark, 2010), this piece will discuss how the microsystem, mesosystem, ecosystem, and macrosystem were being impacted. Also linking how intrinsic motivation is “motivated by factors within themselves or inherent in a task they are performing” (McDevitt. Ormrod, 2013) and extrinsic motivation is “motivated to either attain or avoid to extrinsic motivation certain consequences in the outside world” (McDevitt. Ormrod, 2013) played an aspect and were influenced during year 9. Furthermore, I to continue with what strategies or supporting mechanisms were put in place to help assist my learning and development as my motivation levels.

Finding motivation after losing a close family member is tough and challenging even when all microsystems are around, however not having the main microsystems can definitely affect a person’s sense of self. Microsystem “is the setting in which the individual lives. These contexts include a person’s family, peers, school, and neighborhood.” (Christensen, 2016). The first microsystem impact was peers, as flying overseas and not seeing or having the normal support system impacted my motivation levels as I leaned on them for help, guidance, and motivation. The second microsystem impacted was school, as not having the normal structure was unbalancing and unsettling as I didn’t have my teachers or allocated time to learn and develop therefore allowing my studies to slip and leading to the decline in my motivation and confidence levels. Not having these two main microsystems meant that important aspects such as trust, reliability, and support to a person’s sense of self could contribute to low self-confidence as “children seldom put themselves in situations where they believe they won’t succeed” (McDevitt. Ormrod, 2013). Even though my motivation levels were declining, my connection with my family was strong and continued to strengthen as they provided inspiration and support, allowing for my self-confidence to grow as I didn’t feel alone or that I couldn’t succeed. Having my family allowed me to keep on track and keep motivated which was a huge part of my learning and development in year 9. My intrinsic motivation was increased due to family because they were a huge part of my sense of self defined as “Knowledge, beliefs, judgments and feelings about oneself as a person this motivation” (Christensen, 2016), I became motivated to continue to work and finish it to then be able to spend as much quality time possible with them. The next system from Bronfenbrenner’s sociocultural model of development is the Mesosystem referring to “relations between microsystems or connections between contexts.” (Christensen, 2016). One relation was between myself and my family, having such a strong connection with my family meant that I was able to feel supported and therefore motivated and confident in my studies. Another relation is between me and the school, telling the school on the day you are leaving is not ideal however thankfully the connection between the school and myself was positive. Having this strong positive connection, especially with the teachers allowed them to be supportive and allowed me to feel supported as they were providing work solutions to how I would be able to continue to learn and develop overseas without being jeopardized and left behind.

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In addition to Bronfenbrenner’s sociocultural model of development, there are two more systems to be discussed. Firstly, the exosystem is defined as “involves links between the social setting in which the individual does not have an active role and the individual’s immediate context” (Christensen, 2016). The exosystem is influenced by the rules and curriculum that the government had set for all school pupils in different year levels to follow and pass to ensure they are adequate for the next year’s content. Being away from school for 2 months was a large proportion of the school year, so maintaining motivation was important to pass year 9. This impacted my sense of self as spending time with family is valuable however knowing there were deadlines and a criterion to meet changed the importance of schoolwork and increased my self-motivation as the fears of failing subjects grew although decreased my happiness and freedom as spending time with my family had to become limited and not the number one priority. Secondly, the Macrosystem described as the “overall societal culture in which individuals live” (Christensen, 2016) was related to socioeconomic status which is the “social standing or class of an individual or group. It is often measured as a combination of education, income and occupation” (American Psychological Association, n.d). Being overseas while still studying was difficult and challenging however, fortunately being a part of a high socioeconomic status enabled me to afford and have the privilege to use resources such as laptops to help my learning and development even from afar. Having these resources enabled me to still keep in contact with teachers when necessary and be able to access the workbooks and tasks assigned, it, therefore, kept me on track as I knew what was required of me and kept me motivated. My extrinsic motivation was impacted by the exosystem and macrosystem as having the school curriculum to adhere to and having the teacher frequently checking up on the completed work meant that I was continually motivated to avoid the negative consequences that would occur if I didn’t abide by. However, even though I had the motivation to continue studying, it felt forced and made it hard to stay motivated as my priority during this time was to spend as much time with my family.

Throughout this period of year 9, the motivational levels have increased but also decreased due to different reasons. It was so important that strategies were put in place to allow for learning and development to continue while being far away. One strategy was that my teacher would send me work online to assist with my studies however to check up at the end of every week or every second week. Another strategy was allocating a time and place with my cousin who was a teacher to help guide me and encourage me through this work. Having both these strategies not only helped tremendously as there was someone to answer questions if need be, keep my motivational levels up but also try creating a similar structure to the school dynamic.

To conclude, motivation levels will never always be the same, different factors such as who you are, what you believe in, and what inspires you will play a huge part. Although there are always ways and strategies to help continue to motivate and inspire people.   

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