Urie Bronfenbrenner in the Classroom

Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecosystems educational theory affects how educators view children who are struggling in the classroom as well as demonstrate the environmental factors that affect a child’s development and learning. If we recall Bronfenbrenner’s ecosystems theory and apply that to a school: the microsystem would be students and objects with whom the student directly interacts in the classroom. Another microsystem within which the student exists is at home. The mesosystem incorporates the multiple microsystems and includes the interactions between those microsystems. Circumstances in each affect the other. The macrosystem includes the school policies and any cultural contexts and policies (e.g. Common Core) within which the student lives and of which he or she has no control. The other system that has effect on the child is chronosystem. This is the cumulative effect of the experiences of the child’s life.

With all of these variables that affect a child’s development and learning, what can an educator do to provide students with the most opportunities for success? First, an educator must be aware of the fact that there are all of these potential reasons for student success or challenges. Next the educator must create a safe, nurturing environment in which students can feel comfortable enough to take risks in learning and feel support when they struggle.


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