I am very sorry to hear about the death of Uri Bronfenbrenner. His ideas
reached not only Americans and American children, but also children in
other parts of the world. He was very well known to the psychologists
and educators in the former Yugoslavia and his influence and kind
support helped start very unique day-care programs and the whole branch
of the early childhood education at the University of Belgrade.
The best memorial activity that I can think of would be to organize a
reading of some of his texts and a discussion based on that reading. I
wonder who among us knows more about Uri Bronfenbrenner's work.
Mike Cole wrote:
>I am very sorry to have to pass along this note. Urie was a very important
>person in my
>life, an early and peresistant chat theorist, and he is sorely missed. When
>I can stop throwing euros at a computer to get online I will write more
>about the importance of his ideas. Perhaps some of you can think of an
>appropriate form of memorial activity.
>The Associated Press has just released Uri Bronfenbrenner's obituary:
>"Academic Who Helped Create Head Start Dies"
>The Associated Press
>Monday, September 26, 2005; 4:09 PM
>Urie Bronfenbrenner, a Cornell University psychologist who pioneered an
>interdisciplinary approach to the study of child development and helped
>create the federal Head Start program, has died. He was 88.
>Bronfenbrenner, a member of the Cornell faculty since 1948, died at his home
>Sunday from complications from diabetes, the school announced Monday.
>The Russian-born Bronfenbrenner was credited with creating the
>interdisciplinary field of human ecology and was widely regarded as one of
>the world's leading scholars in developmental psychology and child-rearing.
>Before Bronfenbrenner, child psychologists studied the child, sociologists
>examined the family, anthropologists the society, economists the economic
>framework of the times and political scientists the governing structure.
>"Urie was the quintessential person for spurring psychologists to look up
>and realize that interpersonal relationships, even the smallest level of the
>child and the parent-child relationship, did not exist in a social vacuum,"
>said Melvin L. Kohn, a professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University,
>who studied under Bronfenbrenner.
>Earlier in his career, Bronfenbrenner helped spur the creation of Head
>Start, the federal child development program for low-income children that
>has served millions of children since 1965.
>According to an account on the American Psychological Association's Web
>site, Bronfenbrenner was on a Head Start planning committee appointed by R.
>Sargent Shriver, director of President Johnson's anti-poverty efforts.
>Bronfenbrenner persuaded his colleagues to include the family and community
>in Head Start, in order to better help poor children.
>In his later years, Bronfenbrenner warned that the process that makes human
>beings human was breaking down as trends in American society produced chaos
>in the lives of America's children.
>"The hectic pace of modern life poses a threat to our children second only
>to poverty and unemployment," he said.
>He was the author, co-author or editor of 14 books and more than 300
>articles and chapters. He held many honorary degrees, and the American
>Psychological Association gives an annual award in his name for
>contributions to developmental psychology.
>At his death, Bronfenbrenner was the Jacob Gould Sherman Professor Emeritus
>of Human Development and of Psychology at Cornell.
>Born in Moscow in 1917, Bronfenbrenner came to the United States at age 6.
>He received a bachelor's degree from Cornell in 1938, a master's from
>Harvard and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He served in the Army
>as a psychologist before joining the Cornell faculty.
>He is survived by his wife, Liese; and six children. Daughter Kate
>Bronfenbrenner is the director of labor education research at Cornell.
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