The Ecology of Human Development: Experiments by Nature and Design

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Harvard University Press, 1979 - Psychology - 330 pages
Here is a book that challenges the very basis of the way psychologists have studied child development. According to Urie Bronfenbrenner, one of the world’s foremost developmental psychologists, laboratory studies of the child’s behavior sacrifice too much in order to gain experimental control and analytic rigor. Laboratory observations, he argues, too often lead to “the science of the strange behavior of children in strange situations with strange adults for the briefest possible periods of time.” To understand the way children actually develop, Bronfenbrenner believes that it will be necessary to observe their behavior in natural settings, while they are interacting with familiar adults over prolonged periods of time. This book offers an important blueprint for constructing such a new and ecologically valid psychology of development. The blueprint includes a complete conceptual framework for analysing the layers of the environment that have a formative influence on the child. This framework is applied to a variety of settings in which children commonly develop, ranging from the pediatric ward to daycare, school, and various family configurations. The result is a rich set of hypotheses about the developmental consequences of various types of environments. Where current research bears on these hypotheses, Bronfenbrenner marshals the data to show how an ecological theory can be tested. Where no relevant data exist, he suggests new and interesting ecological experiments that might be undertaken to resolve current unknowns. Bronfenbrenner’s groundbreaking program for reform in developmental psychology is certain to be controversial. His argument flies in the face of standard psychological procedures and challenges psychology to become more relevant to the ways in which children actually develop. It is a challenge psychology can ill-afford to ignore.

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This book does not need "improving" as the last reviewer suggests!!
"It is fitting that Bronfenbrenner spent most of his professional career in a department with a name that encompasses three
separate fields and ended it in a college named Human Ecology–a field that he did much to inspire. He was dissatisfied with what he saw as fragmented approaches to the study of human development, each with its own level of analysis (child, family, society, economics, culture, etc.), and was fond of saying that “Much of contemporary developmental psychology is the science of the strange behavior of children in strange situations with strange adults for the briefest possible periods of time” (Bronfenbrenner, 1977, p. 513)." 

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it is a great book but improve it please..
i really cannot understand it...


Purpose and Perspective
Basic Concepts
The Nature and Function of Molar Activities
Interpersonal Structures as Contexts of Human Development
Roles as Contexts of Human Development
The Laboratory as an Ecological Context
Childrens Institutions as Contexts of Human Development
Day Care and Preschool as Contexts of Human Development
The Mesosystem and Human Development
The Exosystem and Human Development
The Macrosystem and Human Development

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About the author (1979)

Urie Bronfenbrenner was Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Human Development and of Psychology at Cornell University.

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