Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Theory

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The ecological theory of development that was proposed by Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917-2005), is relevant to state all of our lives. Bronfenbrenner’s research demonstrates how our development is affected by the environment in which we live. The model consist of five major systems; microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem. "Ecological systems theory is an approach to study of human development that consists of the scientific study of the progressive, mutual accommodation, throughout the life course, between an active, growing human being, and the changing properties of the immediate settings in which the developing person lives, as this process is affected by the relations between these settings, and by the larger contexts in which the settings are embedded'” (Bronfenbrenner, Ecological systems theory, 1989). In proposing the ecological model as a research tool, Brofenbrenner wanted to move away from the traditional focus that sees either the environment of the person instead of the relationship between them as the most important aspect of development. Furthermore, he wants to focus on the process of development rather than concentrate on isolated variables at a single point in time. (Crandell, Haines Crandell, Vander Zanden, 2009 p.52) Many developmental models place an emphasis on the nature vs. nurture in the development of children. However, Bronfenbrenner’s theory looks at the child’s environment in terms of quality and context. This student briefly described Bronfenbrenner’s five ecological systems theories. She also explained how the levels of influence shaped her development and how they influenced her decision to enter graduate school to obtain a master’s degree. The first level is microsystem; it consists of the network of social relationships and the physical settings in which a person is involved in each day (Crandell, Crandell, & Vander Zanden, pg.11 2009). This system will include any immediate relationships or organizations a child interacts with in their life. The way in which these groups interact with the child will have an effect on how the child grows. For example, the more encouraging and nurturing these relationships and places are, the better the child will be able to grow. In turn if the child is exposed to the opposite of those things the child may struggle in their development. In addition, depending on how the child acts or reacts has an influence on how the people in their microsystem will treat them. This student related the microsystem to her decision. Her desire and motivation to return back to school to obtain a Master’s degree was influenced by her nieces and nephews. She used them to form her opinion and the choices she made in life because she does not have any children of her own. Every decision that the student makes will have some type of impact on their lives for the better or the worse. Her plan is to be a positive role model and make a positive impact on their lives so they can be successful and productive citizens. The student wants her nieces and nephews to know the importance of having an education. She can illustrate to them by achieving a higher level of education. The second level is the mesosystem; it consists of the interrelationships among the various settings in which the developing person is immersed (Crandell, Crandell, & Vander Zanden 2009). This system describes how the different parts work together for the sake of the child (i.e., the relationship between home and school, school and workplace, home and the workplace and so on). Thus, the mesosystem is a system of microsystems. For example, if a child is raised with both parents in the household they will most likely grow up believing that is the right environment for a child to be in. In contrast, if a child is raised by two sets of parents, mom with step-dad and dad with step-mom disagree on how to raise a child therefore the child is conflicted on which way is the best way, then this...
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