Ecological systems theory
The ecological systems theory developed by Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917-2005) seeks to explain how everything in a child and the child's multilayered environment affects how a child grows and develops. Each individual human has unique biological and psychological characteristics, which interact with other individuals, groups and environments over time. Bronfenbrenner’s theory describes the different aspects or levels of the environment that influence development, represented by concentric circles of influence radiating out from the child at the centre. Within each level, the interaction of group members or things with each other and with the child will act to positively or negatively affect a child.
Observational learning theory
Albert Bandura (1925 - ) theorised that children learn by observing the behaviour of others. Children can learn positive and negative traits by consciously paying attention to, constructing and remembering the mental representations of what they see, retrieve these representations from memory later, and use them to guide behaviour (Sigelman. 2012, p45). Bandura posited that the child, the environment and the behaviour may influence each other, and could therefore not be viewed in isolation. For example, the environments shaped by humans then influence biological evolution by influencing which traits increase the odds of survival (Bandura, 2002). Similarly, personal characteristics and behaviours of a child may affect the people around them, just as these people are influencing their personal characteristics and future behaviours. Children of the same age will be dissimilar if their learning experiences have differed considerably, and will continue to change over time as cognitive skills mature (Sigelman, 2012, p46).
Bandura’s observational theory provides useful insight into how a child may learn to hit, and how they learn to positively or negatively apply that knowledge. Bronfenbrenner’s schema provides a...