Human development is one of the most intriguing paradigms in all of science. Human development plays a principal role in the makeup of individuals that populate our nation. Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917-2005) was one of the most influential developmental psychologist, who was known for his groundbreaking contributions with the ecological theory of development. Conceivably, Bronfenbrenner’s levels of influence, the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem and the chronosystem helped shape my development and influenced my decision to enter graduate school, to obtain a master’s degree.
Scientists refer to the elements of change and constancy over the life span as development. Development is defined as the orderly and sequential changes that occur with the passage of time as an organism moves from form conception to death. Human development over the life span is a process of becoming something different while remaining in some respects the same (Crandell, Crandell, & Vander Zanden, 2009, p. 4). According to the article, Toward an Experimental Ecology of Human Development, The ecology of human development is the scientific study of the progressive, mutual accommodation, throughout the life span, between a growing human organism and the changing immediate environments in which it lives, as this process is affected by relations obtaining within and between these immediate settings, as well as the larger social contexts, both formal and informal, in which the settings are embedded, p.514.
Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory is similar in some way to the elements of change in reference to the environment. Urie Bronfenbrenner proposes an ecological theory that centers on the relationship between the developing individual and the changing environmental systems (Crandell, Crandell, & Vander Zanden, 2009, p. 52). Bronfenbrenner developed five levels of influence, the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem and the chronosystem.
The microsystem refers to the individual surroundings, the settings in which a person lives. The school a person attends, friends in which the person associates with and a person’s way of life at home, are all aspects of the microsystem and how one develops. A microsystem is the complex of relations between the developing person and environmental in an immediate setting containing that person (e.g., home, school, work place, etc.) (Bronfenbrenner, Urie, 1977, p.514). Indeed, this level of influence has shaped my development and influenced my decision to enter graduate school to obtain a master’s degree. The microsystem is very important in that it basically describes the how a person goes along in everyday life. As for myself, my parents, whether present or not, were very much involved in my school life. My mom joined the Parent Teacher Association while I attended grammar school. She made sure that I was at or above grade level in all of my subject areas. At home my parents kept a watchful eye on the time that I spent watching television, and the programming that I watched. They also made sure that I engaged in educational activities, constantly making sure I stayed sharp academically. Perhaps, all of the hard work I put in, in reference to school paid great dividends for me. My parents’ working along side my teachers has contributed to my ability to succeed thus far in my academic career.
The mesosystem is yet another one of Bronfenbrenner’s levels of influence. The article Toward an Experimental Ecology of Human Development states “A mesosystem comprises the interrelations among major settings containing the developing person at a particular point in his or her life” (Bronfenbrenner, U. 1977, P. 515). Based upon my understanding of the mesosystem and my stage of development, the mesosystem would incorporate interactions among my family, my graduate career, and my profession. There is a constant battle for balance among all 3 aspects involved in the...
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