The ecological theory of development was created by a Russian American psychologist named Urie Bronfenbrenner. He developed the theory based on his belief that all children grow and develop differently based on their environmental factors and the situations surrounding those environmental factors. The theory was comprised of four levels and later a fifth level was added. The microsystem level focused on those factors that immediately surrounded the child. Those factors could include: family, school, neighborhood, and church. Mesosystem level is a connection between two different environments, like school and neighborhood. Those external environmental factors such as the media, government, and extended family and friends are referred to as exosystem. The fourth level of the theory included environmental factors that were tied to cultural beliefs and national economy. The fifth level, chronosystem, was later added by Bronfenbrenner to show that changes occur over time within each individual. In studying these different levels of ecological development, it became clear that each of these levels has influenced my life at different stages. And each level had a different environmental influence on my progress.
In Bronfenbrenner’s model my microsystem consisted of my mother, father, and two younger brothers. My mother always worked full time outside of the home and only had one year of college. In contrast, my father had no college but had graduated from high school. He could not read very well and worked as a construction worker. His medical problems were many and he was diagnosed as disabled for most of my childhood. One of my brothers was only fifteen months younger than me, and the other was five and a half years younger.
The next level of the ecological system, the mesosystem describes how the parts of a child’s microsystem work together for the sake of the child (Oswalt). My mother was the person that made most of the decisions regarding how we were raised. She was very strict in terms of homework. Although she was not very hands on in terms of the homework being done, she insisted that it was done every day when we first got home from school. She also expected my brothers and me to maintain a B average though out our school years. I think she expected more out of me because I showed the love for learning at an early age. My brothers didn’t seem to like school and struggled through a lot of it. Over time, our mother began the lower her expectations for them. My father was happy as long as we didn’t not receive any F’s.
The layer that is considered the outermost layer of development is known as the macrosystem. This layer is comprised of cultural beliefs, values, customs, and economy. My father grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist religion and although we did not consistently belong to a Seventh Day Adventist church, he did make us follow a lot of their beliefs. My brothers and I did not grow up in a very religious family. My parents did go...