February 26, 2013
Part 1: Community-Based Service Learning Reflection
My volunteer time for Community-Based Service at Planned Parenthood has caused me to recognize several themes and issues discussed in our lecture and reading materials. From our lectures and resources, I have identified microsystems, macrosystems, and chronosystems linked with Planned Parenthood. I also realized that academic freedom and curriculum use in schools affects Planned Parenthood. The most obvious connection between our class lectures, seminars, and materials has to do with adolescent challenges, and the programs implemented to assist teens during this time, such as Planned Parenthood.
I was able to recognize that Urie Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory is present in the interactions associated with Planned Parenthood. A microsystem is the “environmental system that includes students’ families, peers, schools, and neighbourhoods” (Santrock, Woloshyn, Gallagher, Di Petta & Marini, 2010, pp. 68), while a macrosystem is the “environmental system that involves the broader culture in which students and teachers live”, (pp. 69) and a chronosystem is the “environmental system that refers to socio-historical conditions of students’ development” (pp. 69). The microsystem also includes health services, which is one of the features Planned Parenthood has to offer. Planned Parenthood has nurses and doctors come in regularly to perform testing for sexual transmitted infections. They also provide counselling, advice for birth control methods, and do presentations within schools to raise awareness about sexually transmitted infections and sex health. I linked the macrosystem to Planned Parenthood because the culture and social norms of today are reflected in family planning. Today it is common practise for women to use birth control as a contraceptive, and this and a variety of other contraceptives are available to the public through Planned Parenthood for a reduced cost so that economic factors do not prohibit a person from acquiring contraceptives. It is also not unusual today for women to get abortions, and while Planned Parenthood does not perform abortions, it can refer women who choose this option to a doctor. I also saw the chronosystem due to the changing rights for women following the sexual revolution.
I believe Planned Parenthood reflects academic freedom and curriculum use. The reason I believe this is that my supervisor told me that students in Regina are not learning about sex education sufficiently in their schools. Teachers are afraid to raise controversial ideas in their classrooms, and often the material about sexual health provides little more than the basics. They must use caution because these issues are sensitive. In addition, the teacher must fit it into the curriculum in an appropriate manner.
Planned Parenthood helps to teach young people about proper sexual health techniques and options. This is very important when adolescents are faced with challenges such as the “big four” (substance abuse, school violence, adolescent pregnancy and STI’s, and truancy) (Santrock et al, pp. 92). Planned Parenthood focuses on adolescent pregnancy and STI’s. Their target audience is young people who are already, or about to become, sexually active. They provide statistics of infections, education about infections, and discuss pregnancy prevention. This is one way to help prevent teenagers from becoming “at risk”, and dropping out of school.
I am sure my volunteer time at Planned Parenthood will allow me to recognize more themes and issues discussed in our lectures and reading materials. So far, I have identified microsystems, macrosystems, and chronosystems. Academic freedom and curriculum use in schools affects Planned Parenthood through the amount of material taught. One of the adolescent challenges, teen pregnancy and STI’s, is currently being addressed by Planned Parenthood.