Ecological Theory of Development

Ecological Theory of Development

When I began work 26 years ago at Friends of the Family (which became Maryland Family Network), the ecological systems theory of Urie Bronfenbrenner was part of the philosophical underpinning of the family support approach.  His diagram of the system looked like this:

At a recent conference on family engagement, the speaker introduced this slide, which is credited to both Bronfenbrenner and Takeuchi, whom I presume is Lori Takeuchi who has written about young people’s learning through technology.  Here’s the revised Bronfenbrenner diagram that illustrates current influences on children.  Note that “media” gets several mentions!

What’s important is to realize that no matter where we work in this diagram – most of us are probably in the “mesosystem” – there are many factors influencing a child’s development, and our approach needs to take this fact into account.

Donate