Ecological Theory Research Paper

Ecological systems theory, created by the psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner in the late 1960s, is a classification of factors influencing human development. He was thereby materially influenced by Kurt Lewin and his concept of locomotion.

If you seek to write an argumentative research paper on the topic you have to understand that ecological system theory in this context means the entire physical and social environment of an individual. Ecology = correlation between biological organisms and their natural environment system = commonly referred to the total of the elements related to each other, connected to each other, and interacting with each other.

Bronfenbrenner structured hid theory into the following system levels:

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  • Microsystems include the immediate relations of people to other people or groups, for example, the relationship with the family, the school, the workplace, etc. At this level of personal relationships are, for example, infants in interaction with their caregivers.
  • Mesosystem is the totality of relations of people, i.e., the sum of microsystems and the relationship between them. An example of a mesosystemische interaction is the interaction between daycare center and child’s family.
  • Exosystem is a network of relationships to which the child belongs not directly so that it only has limited or no influence on his development.
  • Nevertheless, the Exosysteme have sometimes considerable influence, when belonging to the caregivers of the child. Such exosystem is, for example, the job of the mother of the child. The low influence and high effect will be about the example of the interaction between teachers and parents in the school choice at the end of primary education.
  • Macrosystem is the totality of all relations in a society: the norms, values, conventions, traditions, the codified and unwritten laws, rules, and ideologies.
  • Chronosystems include the temporal dimension of development, such as the striking points in time in development, and their biographical sequence. Bronfenbrenner distinguishes between “normative” Chronosystems (such as starting school or the inclusion of occupation) and “non-normative” (such as serious illness of relatives or lottery winnings).

For Urie Bronfenbrenner the interaction between systems and the transition of people from one system to another are at the forefront of his thoughts. With this approach, he examines different conditions, in which there is human (child’s in the first place) development. He works out, among other things, that it is important for the development that the various systems of a human being are consistent; that experiences and behaviors that a person has learned in a system are applicable in other systems and people would have on the design of the various systems in which they participate.

Critics, who are against this approach, argue that the theory considers only formal and largely disregards the social mechanisms of power.

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