Ecological Theory

Topics: Developmental psychology, Ecological Systems Theory, Natural environment Pages: 5 (1533 words) Published: July 27, 2010

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory Analysis

Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory focuses on the individuals’ development in the context of internal and external layers of development. The theory illustrates how environmental influences affect the development of an individual. Apart from the external environment influences, the person’s biological characteristics are also part of the primary environment that affects his/her growth. These biological characteristics interacts with the external environment, which includes the person’s family as well as the society in which he/she grows. Inconsistencies that may occur in any of the environmental factors may adversely affect the development of a person. This means that when studying issues concerning development in humans, the environment in which they live should not be ignored. This essay is a critique of how bronfenbrenner’s levels of influence shaped my development. It is an application of the ecological theory analyzing how these environmental factors influenced my decision to enter graduate school to obtain a master’s degree.

Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory

The first system is the microsystem, which refers to the environment in which a child lives. This includes the parents, peers, teachers and the parents of other children. Under the microsystem, the individual engages in many direct social interactions with the environmental components. For example, children interact directly with the teacher in school, parents at home and peers during play. The experiences that an individual acquires under these circumstances are through active participation in the social environment. In other words, an individual contributes to the settings of the social environment, and also affects the lives of others (Santrock 2007). As a child, I attended high school in Cali, Colombia where I was born and brought up. The social setting adversely affected my life especially when my parents divorced at the age of 13 years. My mother worked as a part time English teacher in an adult school, and stayed with us most of the time. I and my two brothers got to know much from our mother whom we stayed with most of the time than we did from our father who worked as a full time engineer. However, all the family members knew each other. In the small city where we lived, I had many friends from the neighborhood when I was a child. We were many, and we used to play together. Each of us knew that we were obligated as children to respect our elders regardless of whether we knew them or not. This contributed to my development as an honest person who respected other people. I also acquired the capability to interact with peers, which has been an important source of knowledge throughout my life to the present. Mesosystem

This is the relationship between the environmental components of the microsystem or the interconnections that exist between these components. For example, the family background, or the environment in which a child grows may adversely affect the performance of the child at school as well as the way he/she relates with other children. On the other hand the religious setting under which the child is brought up may affect the behavior of the child at school, at home as well as his/her relationship with peers, and behavior at home (Laura 2008). For example, the relationship between a child and the parents largely affects his/her relationship with teachers as well as other children. This indicates the interrelationship that exists amongst the various environmental factors of the microsystem. The relationship between religion and my school community was strong due to the fact that it was a private catholic school. I therefore grew as a God fearing person, believing in the super natural power who I believed since childhood was the creator of the universe. My experiences later in life regarding...
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