human development

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In this article as I interpret it, Bronfenbrenner argues that the sciences that relate to human development in theory, method, and substance, are generally caught and placed in a box to verify stringent ideas of what it means to evolve and develop as a human. Bronfenbrenner is correct in pointing out the limited significance of such studies, especially in light of his proposal that the life course needs to encompass more than the most immediate and noticeable environment, that immediate environment and its system are constantly changing.  In light of class discussions of microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem as it relates to my and others constantly evolving and revolving lives, Bronfebrenner’s idea is particularly significant.

However, studying all four systems is particularly challenging, given that our dyad and triad conversations in class seemed to cover every system at once because, in truth, each system is nested within the other and each is intimately connected and each of us influenced each other during those conversations.  Reciprocity is something that Bronfenbrenner discusses in the Microsystem that was not considered before, while science naively thought the Experimenter could be pure and not influence Subject(s) during the study of an environment however small or large, involving environments of two and environments that involve more than two individuals.

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In this article as I interpret it, Bronfenbrenner argues that science, at least the sciences that relate to human development in theory, method, and substance, are generally caught and placed in a box to verify stringent ideas of what science defines as evolving and developing as a human.  When studies do not allow for variation and exception, when studies attempt to find and prove rules and ignore exceptions and other conditions, I believe Bronfenbrenner is correct in pointing out the limited significance of such a study.  I also see this when I am faced with statistics, but my bias at the moment is that statistics can be made to prove anything, however slim.  She calls it being caught between the rigor of science and its relevance in the real world.

However, the science is still relevant if applied correctly.  It isn’t rejected outright.  The science has validity if applied to the wider public properly.  As the article title states,  a scientific perspective of the ecology of human development is proposed.  In the first definition, studying the human being as s/he relates to his/her environments is proposed.  In the immediate past, I would have described sociology simplistically in much the same way.  However, I don’t believe that definition is accurate any longer.  I do believe this definition comes close to explaining social psychology that I have a particular interest in learning much more about.  In fact, the article cites the varied systems of microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem that relate to human development and environmental interaction as it relates to Kurt Lewin’s psychological and sociological substance.

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