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Bronfenbrenner’s Bio – Ecological Model of Human Development:Outline the key points and analyze its relevance for Early Childhood Education.Bronfenbrenner was a theorist who “had a profound effect on the way we think about child development and our approaches to working with young children and their families” (Hayes, O’Toole and Halpenny, 2017). Bronfenbrenner’s theories have encouraged researchers to shift from studying an isolated child to focusing on studying children whilst they are in social situations or environments (Hayes, O’Toole and Halpenny, 2017). Bronfenbrenner’s views on Early Childhood Education and Care were very different to everybody else’s during his time. He was not afraid to express his disagreement and his concerns about the wider influence of society on children’s development. He believed that social status and income played a huge role in children’s development. He felt that if a child was from a disadvantaged area and was friends with a child from a more advantaged home, that they would academically benefit from being friends with this child. Where as if they were friends with another disadvantaged child they would tend to do worse academically (Hayes, O’Toole and Halpenny, 2017). He felt that support and involvement from the caregiver is critical for the development of the child, and that the most important human development happens within the early years. Interactions including feeding, playing and talking should occur daily to help assist the development of the child.Bronfenbrenner’s bio – ecological model was not so much nature or nurture, but more so nature and nurture. He attempts to bring the two together during his research and findings. The main aim of the bio – ecological model is to focus on the child. It deals with things such as the child’s personality, age, gender, temperament, self – esteem, health, stage of cognitive development and so on. *His bio – ecological model highlighted the importance of various types of relationships that children build throughout their lives.Good family relationships and the home environment is very important, but Bronfenbrenner also felt that relationships between Early Childhood Education and Care practitioners, teachers, friends and the environments which exist outside of the home, are all of great importance to the child’s development also (Hayes, O’Toole and Halpenny, 2017). There are different systems within the bio – ecological model, he believed that the child’s development occurred within these systems. These consist of the micro – system, the meso – system, the exo – system, the macro – system and the chrono – system. *This bio – ecological model works as a framework for EarlyChildhood Education and Care. He focuses on the children as individuals and emphasizes the interaction of ‘process’, ‘person’, ‘context’ and ‘time’. These systems explain the relation between the different aspects or relationships within society and how much of an effect these aspects have on a child’s development (Hayes, O’Toole and Halpenny, 2017).The micro – system:The mirco – system relates to the interactions and activities which occur in the child’s immediate surroundings, most of the time, for young children, this mainly just refers to their family. However, the micro – system tends to become more complex once the child’s environment begins to grow, for example going to preschool (Shaffer, 2009). “To get a sense of the next environmental system of development – the meso – system – we need to ‘zoom out’ a little and take a slightly broader overview of the developmental context by looking at interrelations among microsystems” (Watts, Cockcroft and Duncan, 2009, p. 505).The meso – system:The meso – system is associated with “the connections or interrelationships within among such microsystems as homes, schools and peer groups” (Shaffer and Kipp, 2010, p. 63). Bronfenbrenner believed that it was important that children had very supportive and strong links between microsystems as it would have a positive impact on the child’s development. Whereas if there are non – supportive links between microsystems it can have a negative effect on the child (Shaffer and Kipp, 2010).The exo – system:The exo – system is the third environmental layer. It refers to “contexts that children and adolescents are not a part of but that may nevertheless influence their development” (Shaffer and Kipp, 2010, p. 64).The macro – system:The type of development which occurs in the macro – system is more so connected to cultural issues or social class “in which micro – systems, meso – systems and exo – systems are embedded” (Shaffer and Kipp, 2010, p.64).

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