Developmental Context Assignment

Purpose: This assignment is designed to help you identify cultural, economic, political, historical contexts that impact children s development. Bronfenbrenner s Ecological Systems theory views the individual as developing within a complex system of contexts and relationships affected by multiple, nested layers of the surrounding environment (microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem).

Skills: Through this assignment, you will develop a number of skills:

  • Write a six-paragraph essay
  • Use critical thinking skills and communicate your ideas in a clear and organized manner
  • Finding, citing and summarizing research from a peer-reviewed scholarly journal
  • Citing and summarizing textbook information

Knowledge: This assignment will help you gain the following knowledge:

  • Apply theoretical knowledge to your own life experience
  • Identify personal cultural, economic, political, historical contexts that impact your life


Imagine that you are a parent of a 4-year-old child, living in the US today.  Please use your textbook and at least one outside reference (a peer-reviewed scholarly journal) to identify how your personal culture, socioeconomic status, political/government/laws, and generation could affect your child.  

  • Using this information write a six-paragraph essay explaining how these factors might influence your child (use the template provided below).
  • Make sure you include at least 3 different meaningful quotes (for example, referencing a definition is not a meaningful quote) from the book with page numbers and at least one quote from the outside reference.

Follow this template for your essay:

Paragraph One-Introduction and explanation of Bronfenbrenner s Ecological Systems theory in your own words.

Paragraph Two- How the child s various cultures affect their development.

Paragraph Three-How the family s socioeconomic status may affect the child.

Paragraph Four-How what is happening in State or Federal politics/government/laws could affect the child.

Paragraph Five-How the time or generation that this child is currently living in would affect his development.

Paragraph Six- Conclusion.

Use this outline to help you identify information you ll use in your essay

  1. Your Child s culture (make sure you list all of the possible cultures that may effect this child)
  1. Textbook Connections:
    1. Ideas for outside research terms:
  2. Your family s economic or socioeconomic level
  1. Textbook Connections:
    1. Ideas for outside research terms:
  2. Today s political climate
  • Significant historical factors (growing up during in this time in history/being in this generation)
  1. Textbook Connections:
    1. Ideas for outside research terms:

Criteria for Success: Your essay will be scored using the rubric below; please be sure to read it carefully.  You can determine the completeness of your essay by checking off each criterion.

When I use the rubric to score your essay, the purpose is to show you where your essay was strong, and where it needs improvement.

Grade Rubric