Ecological System according to Urie B.

Photo by Marcin Bogucki

Urie Bronfenbrenner American psychologist born in Russia, Moscow on April 29, 1917. He is most known from his input in Ecological Psychology of child development. By his core beliefs, our existence in the surrounding environment is the key to human development. He explains his work in five environmental systems. Through the ecological system, Bronfenbrenner showed the importance of human development in the existential environment.


” One final developmental theory needs to be addressed, even though it’s not a stage theory. ”

Urie Bronfenbrenner developed the ecological systems theory to explain how everything in a child and the child’s environment affects, how a child grows and develops. His theory, including:

  • microsystem
  • mesosystem
  • exo-system
  • macrosystem
  • chronosystem

Micro systems.

The microsystem is the immediate family, caregiver or guardian for the child. Could also be any immediate relationships or organisations that the child interacts with, such as their school, after school, common room, classmates. Is the immediate environment where the young person exists. Depends on how the people, places or group interact with the kids that the children will grow up and develop. The more good relationship the child meet that will be a better effect for growing for the child. Even that is important in the microsystem, moreover, the big issue is the behaviour of the child. How the child will treat others that the others will treat him. That depends on the child’s personality and genetics, also called “temperament”. For example if the child will grow up in a dysfunctional family or the environment, presumably the young person will develop negatively with further destruction.

Mesosystem.

The mesosystem interacts with the microsystem, for instance, the child’s school and home system. Is the interaction of both or more microsystems where they interact with each other. In the case where the parents or guardian take an active role in a child’s after school life like soccer games or school performance then the child will develop very well. However, when parents, for example, are divorced and each of them tries to raise a child by their own rules, or the values in the home are contrary to the values provided in the school, they may present misunderstandings and mislead children.

Eco-system.

The ecosystem is an indirect environment which is mean the individual is not involved

directly, nevertheless still have an effect on the child. That could be another family, neighbourhood or parent’s workplace. For instance, if the parents lose a job, that could have a negative influence on a child’s life or if they are promoted that let the parents fit better physical needs of the child.

Macrosystem.

Another Bronfenbrenner’s level is the macrosystem, which is the biggest system and involves a large area of the human being. Religion, government, political system, regional influence and local beliefs or even wars have a huge impact on human development. This system describes the culture and imposes values where the individuals live.

Chronosystem.

The chronosystem is the last of five, introduced and developed by Bronfenbrenner. The

The chronosystem is changing over time and has a big impact on child development even in late childhood. Is a system where events are changed in the circumstance of life. For instance where the parents are separated in many different conditions of life, national service, divorce or death of the parents. War or change the political system in the country. Even if other systems are ready to evolve, the last one still has to affect child development.

Urie Bronfenbrenner believed that there are two conditions for healthy development for the child.

The first is loving a child unconditionally and the second one is spending time with a child. While studying the Ecological System, I agree with Urie, about how important is any aspect of a child’s life. How many of the above of the present systems is influential for any individual creature and not only for the child but for all development and growth in a human being. How present-day behaviour of people has a massive impact on further society. How important is appreciation?

Bronfenbrenner works and studies the five pillars of the Ecological System to avoid unwanted human behaviour and spare unnecessary changes in the child’s life. I think that this system should be introduced to education from early school years.

I am wondering what your opinion is and do you find that article useful ?

Published by Marcin Bogucki

Counselling & Psychotherapy for both English and Polish speakers.

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