What is Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory of development?

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Urie Bronfenbrenner (April 29, 1917–September 25, 2005) was a very famous and influential, Russian American psychologist known for developing his path breaking, "Ecological Systems Theory." His theories impacted the education of disadvantaged and marginalized sections of society.


Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory holds that 'development' is influenced by several environmental systems. The theory identifies five environmental systems. The five environmental systems are:

  • "Microsystem: This refers to the immediate surroundings of the individual. These contexts include the person's family, peers, school, and neighborhood. It is in the microsystem that the most direct interactions with social agents take place; with parents, peers, and teachers, for example. The individual is not merely a passive recipient of experiences in these settings, but someone who actually helps to construct the social settings.
  • Mesosystem: This refers to the relations between the different  microsystems or connections between contexts. Some common examples are the connection between family experiences and school experiences, school experiences to church experiences, and family experiences to peer experiences. For example, children whose parents have rejected them may have difficulty developing positive relations with their friends or peers.
  • Exosystem: Is concerned with the connection between a social setting in which the individual does not have an active role and the individual's immediate context. For example, a wife's or child's experience at home may be influenced by the husband's experiences at work. The father  might receive a promotion that requires more travel, which might increase conflict with the wife  and affect patterns of interaction with the child.
  • Macrosystem: Describes the culture in which individuals live. Culture meaning the ways of people. Cultural contexts would include socioeconomic status, poverty, and ethnicity.
  • Chronosystem: Refers to the patterning of environmental events and transitions over the life of an individual as well as sociohistorical circumstances. For example, divorce is one transition. Researchers have found that the negative effects of divorce on children often peak in the first year after the divorce. Two years after the divorce, family interaction is less chaotic and more stable. An example of sociohistorical circumstances, would be the increasing opportunities for women to pursue a career.

The ecological theory is one among the many  different theories related to human development. It emphasizes environmental factors as playing the major role to development. However this theory varies from culture to culture.

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thatpurpleone | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Honors

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I need help Using Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory as role of the ecosystems within creation of group and individual culture, culture of power can you help

Why don't you post your topic as a new question? You're more likely to get helpful responses.

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tdc5239 | (Level 1) eNoter

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I need help Using Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory as role of the ecosystems within creation of group and individual culture, culture of power can you help

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loraaa | Student | (Level 2) Valedictorian

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