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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: October 2012

Chapter 12 - Measuring the Environments of Early Care, Education, and Intervention Programs for Children in Poverty

from Part III - Environments


This chapter argues that the treatment of the environment as a separable entity from systems of interest is not consistent with a dynamic systems (DS) perspective. Instead, the environment is a macrolevel within a system's organization. The chapter presents the definition of the system and shows how that definition reflects the researcher's or theorist's choice of the level of analysis. Incorporating analyses real-time and developmental-time scales, even without adopting a systems view, is perhaps the most daunting endeavor of developmental research. The chapter describes one such methodology, the state space grid (SSG) technique, as it intuitively illustrates the relations between structural and temporal aspects of system dynamics. It reviews various SSG studies that reveal critical aspects of system dynamics and structure. Finally, the chapter discusses the implications of the DS approach for the study of environmental contexts.

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