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Links:      •  PracticeTest
                •  Introduction (Print Ready)
                 •  Introduction Index

Ψ  Introduction
Contexts & Systems
- The Ecological Model -

  Ecological Model

The Ecological Model

Ψ  The influences within & between the systems or contexts in the model are multidirectional & interactive.

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

The Ecological Perspective (Urie Bronfenbenner)

•  Focus is on an individual’s relationship within his/her social contexts.
 •  Human development occurs in a set of overlapping ecological systems.
  •  The ecological systems operate together to influence what a person becomes as they develop.

Microsystems Defined

•  Immediate social settings which an individual is involved in.

•  Focus is on an individuals face-to-face interaction (Family, school, work, church, peer group)

•  Activities & interaction patterns in child's immediate surroundings. (e.g., parent/family in the home; teachers, peers in school or day care)

Mesosystem Defined

•  Links 2 Microsystems together, directly or indirectly.

•  e.g when parents and teachers coordinate their efforts to educate a child.

•  Connections among children's immediate settings. (e.g., Relationship between parent & teacher in settings such as day care, schools, neighborhoods)

Exosystem Defined

•  Settings in which the person does not actively participate but in which significant decisions are made affecting the individuals who do interact directly with the person.

•  (e.g. – neighborhood/community structures that affect the functioning of smaller systems: newspapers, TV, & radio.

•  Child not directly involved in social setting; Involves connection to broader community (e.g., Parents' social networks; effect of workplace policies on day care arrangements)

Marcosystem Defined

•  Plans for defining and organizing the institutional life of the society, including overarching patterns of culture, politics, economy, etc.

•  Values, laws, customs, resources of culture, society; Influences experience & interaction at inner layers

Chronosystem Defined

•  Environment is an ever-changing system.
 •  Invoves temporal (time-related) experiences.
  •  Indicates that History influences Microsystems & all subsequent layers.

Ψ  Urie Bronfenbrenner's (1917- 2005) ideas & his ability to translate them into operational research models & effective social policies spurred the creation in 1965 of Head Start, the federal child development program for low-income children & their families. In 1979 Bronfenbrenner further developed his thinking into the groundbreaking theory on the ecology of human development. That theoretical model transformed the way many social & behavioral scientists approached the study of human beings & their environments. It led to new directions in basic research & to applications in the design of programs & policies affecting the well-being of children & families both in the United States & abroad.

Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates