URIE BRONFENBRENNER Dr. Alexander Bronfenbrenner and Eugenie Kamenetski Bronfenbrenner, gave birth to son, Urie Bronfenbrenner on April 29, 1917 in Moscow, Russia. Six years later they relocated to the United Staes. Dr. Alexander Bronfenbrenner settled his family in Letchworth Village, the home of the New York State Institution for the Mentally Retarded. Where he worked as a clinical pathologysand research director. Bronfenbrenner graduated from Haverstraw High School, He then, attended Cornwell University (1938), where he completed a double major in psychology and music. Urie graduated Harvard University as well for the development psychology completing an M.A. He also received a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1942. He served as a psychologist in a variety of assignments for the Army Air Corps and the Office of Strategic Services. Bronfenbrenner served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. Bronfenbrenner worked briefly as Assistant Chief, Clinical Psychologist for Administration and Research for the Veterans' Administration, before beginning his work as Assistant Professor in Psychology at the University of Michigan. In 1948, he accepted a professorship in Human Development, Family Studies, and Psychology at Cornell University. Bronfenbrenner and his wife Liese Bared six children. All six children, like their father, were very successful in their lives. They each attended Universities and Colleges. In some ways, Uries children pursued a career, that somewhat followed in his footsteps. In 1965, Bronfenbrenner played an active role in the design of developmental programs. He is the founder of Head Start. his ideas and ability to translate them into operational research models and effective social policies spurred the creation of Head Start, the federal child development program. One of the most successful and longestrunning program for stopping the cycle of poverty in the United States, Head Start has provided comprehensive education, health, nutrician, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. Regarded as one of the world's leading scholars in the field of developmental psychology, Bronfenbrenner's primary theoretical contribution was his Ecological Systems Theory, in which he delineated four types of nested systems. We know them as, the microsystem, the mesosytem, the exosystem, and the macrosystem. Later he added a fifth system, called the Chronosystem. Each system contains roles, norms, and rules that can powerfully shape development. Bronfenbrenner recognized that not only is it necessary to understand how the family or school influences human development, but broader influences as well.
The four systems are:y y y y
Microsystem: Immediate environments (family, school, peer group, neighborhood and child environments) Mesosystem: A system comprised of connections between immediate environments (i.e., a childs home and school) Exosystem: External environmental settings which only indirectly affect development (such as parent's workplace) Macrosystem: The larger cultural context (Eastern vs. Western culture, national economy, political culture, subculture)
Later a fifth system was added:y
Chronosystem: The patterning of environmental events and transitions over the course of life.
Each system contains roles, norms, and rules that can powerfully shape development. According to the ecological theory, if the relationships in the immediate microsystem break down, the child will not have the tools to explore other parts of his environment. Bronfenbrenner's groundbreaking work in "human ecology," these environments, from the family to economic and political structures, have come to be viewed as part of the life course from childhood through adulthoody y
the American Psychological Society Chair, 1970 White House Conference on Children
He was a lifelong advocate for children and is thought of as the father of Head Start. This program is still very popular and very successful. As of late 2007, more than 24 million preschool aged children have participated in Head Start Bronfenbrenner spent many of his later years warning that the process that makes human beings human is breaking down as disruptive trends in American society produce ever more chaos in the lives of America's children. "The hectic pace of modern life poses a threat to our children second only to poverty and unemployment," he said. "We are depriving millions of childrenand thereby our countryof their birthright virtues, such as honesty, responsibility, integrity and compassion Bronfenbrenner's widely-published contributions won him honors and distinguished awards both at home and abroad. He held six honorary degrees, three of them from European universities. An American award given to him in 1996, and afterwards given annually in his name, was for "Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the service of Science and Society," also known as "The Bronfenbrenner Award." Other awards and positions include:
The James McKeen Cattell Award from. Urie Bronfenbrenner changed America's approach to child rearing and created a new interdisciplinary scholarly field, which he defined as the ecology of human development. His association with Cornell spanned almost 60 years, and his legacy continues through Cornell's Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center and through the generations of students to whom he was an inspiring teacher, mentor and friend." Quotation from Urie Bronfenbrenner: Urie Bronfenbrenner changed America's approach to child rearing and created a new interdisciplinary scholarly field, which he defined as the ecology of human development. His association with Cornell spanned almost 60 years, and his legacy continues through Cornell's Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center and through the generations of students to whom he was an inspiring teacher, mentor and friend."