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Bronfenbrenner Analysis

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Bronfenbrenner Analysis

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory of development shows the relationships and levels of influence that the environment has on an individual. The model consist of five major systems; mirco-, meso-, exo-, marco, and chronosystems. "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).

The theory starts with the make-up of the person or individual, by describing their known characteristics. I am an African American, male, 30 years of age. The microsystem consists of relationships surrounding an individual that they operate in on a daily basis. For myself this would include my girlfriend, my son Isaiah, my Mother and Father, my brother and sister, Capella University, the downtown area of Minneapolis, New Salem Baptist Church, and my closest friends. How I interact with these different elements will help shape how I have grown and continue to grow in my adult life.

The mesosystem consists of how the elements within the microsystem work together. This level of development has had the most influence in my decision to enter graduate school and in my personal development. For example, in my development to adulthood, my closest friends, girlfriend, siblings, church and parents all were major influences in my decision to enter graduate school. They provided a nurturing support and encouragement to follow through with my goal plan. If less support was shown here in the mesosystem, there would be a good chance that I would have continued to wait or never follow through with graduate school.

When deciding to obtain a Master’s Degree, the thoughts never seriously entered my mind until after I came back from a summer long visit to Las Vegas, NV. The relationships that developed over that time period included my friends, parents, and my girlfriend. I expressed to them that I was tired of doing the same things, hanging out drinking, partying, watching TV, I felt the need to stimulate my mind and fulfill some needs that weren’t quite met yet. Taking in consideration every conversation that took place, I started to develop my ideas and lean towards going back to school. According to the humanistic psychologists Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, “Fundamental needs must be satisfied before an individual is free to progress to psychological needs, which in turn must be met before the person can realize self-actualization needs” (Crandell & Crandell & VanderZanden, 2009).

The exosystem is made up of influences that an individual is not directly affected by however, does have some affects on relationships with other people. In my exosystem this will include my girlfriends stress at work, my son Isaiah’s school grades, my father’s drinking, and Isaiah’s good or bad basketball games. Also included in this system are the news and governmental regulations.

The stresses in my exosytem that were found in my life two months ago, before deciding to enter graduate school really never changed. They were stresses that I really couldn’t control however they affected my decisions. In my previous job I learned about my innate health and the layers that I created to see the world in developed my health realization. I realized that I can’t control what other people do but I can control my decision making in stressful situations. My father’s drinking and health affected everyone in the family. He expressed to us his depressed state that created a dysfunction among the immediate family. Realizing that I make my best decisions when I am stress free, I began to clear my head of things that I couldn’t control, the ideas of entering college became clearer.

“The macrosystem includes things such as the relative freedoms permitted by the national government, cultural values, the economy, wars, etc. These things can also affect a child either positively or negatively” (Oswalt, 2008). In my personal marcosystem I would include marijuana regulations for medicinal purposes, expectations of a non-profit organization and the job economy in the U.S. This is the largest of the systems that is connected to social development however it is the most distant from an individual.

The chronosystem was developed last in the ecological approach. After Bronfenbrenner realized that an individual person and society changes in consistency he added this system. “Not only do persons in the same age group share a life history of common experience, but those of a given age in different generations could have quite diverse experiences, depending on the period in which they live” (Bronfenbrenner, 2005). If I lived in the same times as my father lived my influences would have been different. The possibilities of entering college would have been slim, and entering graduate school would have farthest from my reality. The difference in the era of wars would have also affected my decisions to enter college or enter the draft. To understand an individual development you must not just take the things going on around them but to also take in consideration the era in which they lived in.

Knowing that the next steps I take may be the most critical in my life thus far; I debated with myself about what’s best for me right now. It makes me think about the poem, I Heard the Learn’d astronomer by Walt Whitman and the study shown by the Markus, Howard, and King article, Integrating Community Service and Classroom Instruction Enhances Learning. In the middle section of the poem, Whitman felt unaccountable because the information that was given to him made him feel a certain kind of way. He may have felt feelings like being unaware, unable, maybe not reaching his full potential. He started to feel so bad that it made him sick and tired. So he did something about it. Just like the study showed the significance of community service learning projects and how it can relate to your everyday experiences. After completing the service learning project, a student concludes, “The community service project was the most valuable part of the course. It made the issues discussed in class so much more real to me. It made me realize that there are social problems—but that they are not un-solvable. The community service gave me first-hand knowledge of the issues discussed in class. I also think my experience will make me a better citizen” (Markus & Howard & King, 1993).

I felt the need to do something positive for myself and for my community. I hope to gain respect from my peers and respect for myself by obtaining this degree. I have received information from people who are close to me and have taken the stresses of outside influence to help develop me. Knowing that with each extra step that I take away from my path to graduate school, time will elapse and the possibilities lessen. The time for me to make a difference in my community is now; waiting only leaves doubt in me and in others. Regret never enters my mind; instead my thoughts are filled with positive motivations from people who care about me the most.

Bibliography
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1989). Ecological systems theory. Annals of Child Development , 187-188.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (2005). Making Human Beings Human: Bioecological Perspectives on Human Development. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Crandell, T., Crandell, C., & VanderZanden, J. (2009). Human Development (9th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Markus, G. B., Howard, J. P., & King, D. C. (1993). Integrating Community Service and Classroom Instruction. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis , 15 (4), 410-419.

Oswalt, A. (2008, January 17th). Urie Bronfenbrenner and Child Development. Retrieved from http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=7930&cn=28

Bibliography: Bronfenbrenner, U. (1989). Ecological systems theory. Annals of Child Development , 187-188. Bronfenbrenner, U. (2005). Making Human Beings Human: Bioecological Perspectives on Human Development. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Crandell, T., Crandell, C., & VanderZanden, J. (2009). Human Development (9th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Markus, G. B., Howard, J. P., & King, D. C. (1993). Integrating Community Service and Classroom Instruction. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis , 15 (4), 410-419. Oswalt, A. (2008, January 17th). Urie Bronfenbrenner and Child Development. Retrieved from http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=7930&cn=28

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