Ecological System’s Theory: Understanding Urie Brofenbrenner
Malik S. Taylor
SHB5003 – Survey of Research in Human Development and Behavior
Professor: Dr. M.E. Cooper
While growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, during a time when homes were comprised of two parents and strong community involvement; children clung to the high ideals of possibly becoming an astronauts, a doctors, a lawyer, members of the NBA, educators and clergymen. These ideals were possible because of the values laid down by parents and their belief that each child should be better than those that came before them. Values of discipline, integrity, respect and dedication were lived on a daily basis, and settling for nothing but the best was definitely thrust upon you. Today, we see homes with one parent (usually the mother) and communities where your neighbor is your biggest enemy; struggling to survive because of the lack of rules put in place by the parent. Children are being disrespectful to authority figures, because parents refuse to create an atmosphere in which they were raised in. Many parents are being forced to work long hours to provide for the family, and children are raising themselves and making decisions that have no clear-cut design. Since young children are forced to make decisions on their own, many lack the direction in which they need to be successful in society. This is a direct result of parents who did not have the tutelage of parenthood, and can only pass on what they learned growing up, and the children have no role model to follow. Urie Brofenbreener, a developmental theorist, who developed a system model of human behavior, which described factors that led children down different paths and contributed to human development. In this paper, I will describe the various levels of the Ecological System’s Theory and how they relate to my growth as a person. Furthermore, I will describe how the different levels influenced my decision to not only complete a Masters Degree, but to enroll in a second Masters Degree program. Finally, I will show how the Ecological System and its processes have changed the direction of my career goals and forced me to rethink my desired contributions to society.
In 1970, Urie Brofenbrenner was born, and so was the beginning of a desire to build a system that depicted the development of children and their behaviors while growing up. The Ecological Systems Theory has four levels that comprise the system which are Microsystem, Mesosystem, Exosystem and Macrosystem.
The first level is described as the Microsystems level. This level is the closest to the child, because of the individuals who have an immediate impact and play the most significant role in forming the child’s behavior. This level is considered the most important level of the four. Involved in this level are parents, teachers, neighborhood, and schools. This level is considered the most important because the child spends most time interacting with individuals within this layer. As a young male growing up in a single-parent home, I did not have the luxury of receiving values from two parents, so I had to rest my lorals, on that of my mother. My mother was the person that shaped and molded my early set of values, which gave me something to build upon as an adult. My siblings and I appreciated the hard work, loyalty and honesty our mother displayed in everything she did. The role she played in my life was valuable. But, there were more who played a major in my development. During the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, neighborhoods were labeled as villages, and the motto was “It takes a village to raise our children.” Our neighborhood was like family. Each adult was empowered to discipline a child that got out of line or disrespected an individual in an authoritative position. Today, neighborhoods...
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