Making Access Happen  

It is important to have an understanding of the influences that interact with each and every student. Gaining and understanding of their unique culture will better allow you to apply DAP principles in your program. Urie Bronfenbrenner, a developmental psychologist, theorized that growth is a product of the interaction between the individual and their environment. Many factors influence development and growth.

Brofrenbrenner's Ecological Model of Child Development



Please take a closer look at this visual. Bronfenbrenner’s theory states that an individual’s development is influenced by multiple aspects of the environments around us.

The children in our care can be influenced by many factors. As you think about this, remember that while children may not have direct interactions with the outer influences such as school boards or local government, these entities decide curriculum, standards of learning, and regulations, which in turn affect our students.

Please take a moment to reflect on what you have learned.

  • Using Bronfenbrenner’s model as a guide, identify all the various factors that influence you.
  • How have the interactions in your various environments shaped who you have become today?
  • Think about the children in your care. Can you identify some of the environmental or cultural factors that may influence their development outside of your setting?

Educators need to connect with children to create learning moments that children can grasp. Through connection, educators will be able to develop meaningful relationships, which will better inform teaching. The book Powerful Interactions: How to Connect with Children to Extend Their Learning gives tips for educators to connect with children including slowing down and staying in the moment with children, learning about the children and actively listening to children. Educators are often so busy with assessments, lessons and other duties that they forget to be present in the moment. Children need to be respected and educators need to give time to children develop trust within their relationship.