Wright Completes Ecological Systems Theory and Practice Series for SocialWorkHelper.com

Michael A. Wright, social work educator and President of MAWMedia Group, has recently completed an educational series for the online social work magazine SocialWorkHelper.com. The series sought to fill in a perceived gap in ecological systems information available online. The series consists of 5 articles.

Dr. Wright begins with an explanation of an expanded social work mandate, adding “ecological practice” to the imperative of individual change and social change. In Article 1, He argues that this expansion better connects with operational knowledge about systems. In Article 2, Wright extends this connection to explain its application specifically to human systems. In Article 3, he provides commentary on the use and limitation of current graphing tools used in social work. In Article 4, Wright outlines the vocabulary needed for social workers to integrate new advances in neuroscience, operational research, and the science of emergence. In the final article, Wright provides a foundation for his advanced model Perception of Self in Environment- Reality (POSE-R).

“The POSE-R model equips social workers with a theoretical framework to continue work after assessment and intervention toward prediction. It gives them the ability to construct institutions that support sustainable choice behavior,” Wright stated in discussing the series.

This series has implications for social work education especially in Human Behavior and the Social Environment. Commentary on systems and mapping can be instructive in courses like Interviewing. Reflections on Sociocybernetics and operational research can prove useful in courses like Research Methods.

“I will be engaging Sophomore college students with this content this Fall. I am sure they’ll get a kick out of it,” Dr. Wright beamed upon completing the series.

Link to the articles in the series below:

1. Ecological Systems Theory and Practice: Expanding the Social Work Mandate
• Articulate the expanded, three-phase social work mandate.
• Outline and define the elements of the three-phase social work mandate.
• Visualize the assessment and intervention domains indicated by the expanded, three-phase social work mandate.

2. Ecological Systems Theory and Practice: Visualizing Human Systems
• Articulate the origins of human systems knowledge.
• Trace the development of human systems knowledge from 1934 through 1979.
• Define human systems as organic, dynamic, and complex.

3. Ecological Systems Theory and Practice: Systems and the Sociocybernetic Map
• Distinguish between an ecomap and a genogram for mapping a client system.
• Identify the components of a critical events timeline for recording client influences over the lifespan.
• Articulate the vision of the sociocybernetic map for outlining client decision points across the lifespan.

4. Ecological Systems Theory and Practice: Complexity Lexicon
• Utilize a new lexicon for discussing change in human systems.
• Articulate how purpose and rules impact perception, construction, and mechanism in human systems.
• Articulate operational methods to structure human systems to predict outcomes and control outputs.

5. Ecological Systems Theory and Practice: Analytic Hierarchy
• Construct an assessment that extends from the precipitating event to provide predictive information in preparation for intervention.
• Conduct an ecological assessment including environmental, institutional, and individual elements in a description of Perception of Self in Environment – Reality (POSER).
• Articulate the questions and inferential value of context, control, and choice.


[Michael A. Wright, PhD, LAPSW is MAWMedia Group President and a doctor of philosophy in Social Work. An individual coach and institutional consultant, Wright has over 16 years and dozens of consulting contracts completed. Dr. Wright coaches early career and second career professionals who are exploring next steps. For educators, associations, and organizations, Dr. Wright offers curriculum, online strategy, and entrepreneurship consultations. Contact Dr. Wright here!]