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....
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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