Bronfenbrenner Analysis

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Bronfenbrenner Analysis

Bronfenbrenner Analysis


The development and growth of an individual is within the constraints of the social environment. Bronfenbrenner's theory that development is influenced by experiences arising from broader social and cultural systems as well as a child's immediate surroundings. Ecological Systems Theory? also called "Development in Context" or "Human Ecology" theory? specifies four types of nested environmental systems? with bi-directional influences within and between the systems. The theory was developed by Urie Bronfenbrenner? generally regarded as one of the world's leading scholars in the field of developmental psychology.

Ecological Systems Theory

Urie Bronfenbrenner (1995)? an American psychologist? is responsible for an ecological systems theory that views development within a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment. Ecological systems theory highlights four nested structures that include but extend beyond the classroom setting. (Bronfenbrenner 1995) The ecological theory is Bronfenbrenner's sociocultural view of development which focuses on the changing relations between individuals and the environments in which they live. It consists of five environmental systems ranging from the fine-grained inputs of direct interactions with social agents to the broad-based inputs of culture. The five systems in Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory are the microsystem? mesosystem? exosystem? macrosystem? and chronosystem.

The Microsystem: Classroom Practices

At the innermost level of the environment is the microsystem? which refers to activities and interaction patterns in the candidate's immediate surroundings. Bronfenbrenner emphasizes that to understand this level? we must keep in mind that all relationships are bidirectional and reciprocal. That is? administrators? mentors? and peers affect the candidate's behavior? but the candidate's characteristics -- personality style and way of thinking -- also influences the behavior of others. Within the microsystem? interaction is affected by the presence of third parties. If other people in the setting are supportive? then the quality of the relationships is enhanced.

The Mesosystem: Professional Collaboration

For candidates to develop at their best? supports must also exist in the larger environment. The second level in Bronfenbrenner's theory is the mesosystem. It refers to connections among microsystems? such as alternative certification classes? peer meetings? mentoring sessions? and the school site? which foster candidates' development. This level determines how contexts and relationships develop? and how change and stability in these relationships form key aspects of the candidate's transition to teaching (Addison? 1992).

The Exosystem: Organizational Structure and Policies

The exosystem refers to social settings that do not contain candidates? but that affect their experiences in immediate settings either formal or informal as in a mentor's social network. For example? work experiences may affect a candidate's relationship with his personal family. He may juggle time management skills that require more time and energy. This might increase family conflict or stressors. (Berk, 2000)

The Macrosystem: Cultural Values

The outermost level of Bronfenbrenner's model is the microsystem. It is not a specific context. Instead? it refers to the values? laws? and customs of a particular culture. The priority that the macrosystem gives to the candidate's needs affects the support they receive at lower levels of the environment. (Henderson? ...
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