Montessori and Bronfenbrenner Thesis

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(1917-2005). His early background in developmental psychology thrust him into working with the U.S. Army during World War II where he found that the environment shaped behavior more than any other, in his opinion, activity. For Bronfenbrenner, though, development was a far more complex, interactive model. It was fluid in the sense of time and place, and far more interdependent upon societal and cultural modeling than his predecessors. One can think of Bronfenbrenner as a sociological Stephen Hawking -- explaining the very minute and how it works with the very large. Bronfenbrenner sees the world, from the very tiny micro system (the atom); through a series of "universes" to then form what we might term culture or society. Within each of these structures, actions and interactions flow both ways, and much of what harkens towards human development is the result of situational and environmental issue. Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Johnson-Larid, 2009).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Both theorists adopt the view of constructivism, a theory that explains learning and knowledge by way of gleaning experience. In the field of science, this idea has roots back to the Ancient World -- epistemology and experimentation -- not just rote memorization (Kim, 2005). Social constructivism sees each student as having individual needs based on their own unique background. These needs are, of course, quite complex as well as multidimensional, and requires a viewpoint that encourages uniqueness as part of the overall learning experience (Dougiamas, 1998). This idea posits that there is not one truth that is universal, but rather an individual and unique truth that students (individuals) consider based on their worldview, instruction, and experimentation. The teacher is the guide, but the student is the one actually responsible for learning, because no one can "make" someone learn. Instead, the guide helps make the learning process more robust, but the student remains actively involved.


Bronfenbrenner, Y. (1979). The Ecology of Human Development. New Haven, CT: Harvard University Press.

Dougiamas, M. (1998, November). A Journey into Constructivism. Retrieved from Dougiamas.Com:

Hainstock, E. (1997). The Essential Montessori. New York: Plume Publishers.

Johnson-Larid, P. (2009). How We Reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kim, S. (2005). The Effects of A Constructivist Teaching Approach.

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Montessori and Bronfenbrenner.  (2012, March 13).  Retrieved April 7, 2020, from

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"Montessori and Bronfenbrenner."  March 13, 2012.  Accessed April 7, 2020.