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