The Bronfenbrenner Ecological Model: Macrosystem

The macrosystem is the largest and most distant collection of people and places to the children that still have significant influences on them. This ecological system is composed of the children’s cultural patterns and values, specifically their dominant beliefs and ideas, as well as political and economic systems.

For example, children in war-torn areas will experience a different kind of development than children in peaceful environments.

The Bronfenbrenner Ecological Model: Chronosystem

The Bronfenbrenner theory suggests that the chronosystem adds the useful dimension of time, which demonstrates the influence of both change and constancy in the children’s environments. The chronosystem may include a change in family structure, address, parents’ employment status, as well as immense society changes such as economic cycles and wars.

By studying the various ecological systems, Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory is able to demonstrate the diversity of interrelated influences on children’s development. Awareness of the contexts that children are in can sensitize us to variations in the way children may act in different settings.

For example, a child who frequently bullies smaller children at school may portray the role of a terrified victim at home. Due to these variations, adults who are concerned with the care of a particular child should pay close attention to his/her behavior in different settings, as well as to the quality and type of connections that exist between these settings.


proximal development
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