ERIC Number: ED233501
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
To Facilitate or Impede? The Impact of Selected Organizational Features of Secondary Schools on Adolescent Development. Ecological Perspectives for Successful Schooling Practice.
Mergendoller, John R.
This report discusses adolescent development by examining psychological research and theory and examining the process of adolescent development in the social context of secondary schools. The author functions from a base of four assumptions: (1) that the contours of adolescent experience can constrain or facilitate adult development, (2) that development represents a balancing of individual accommodation and assimilation of the environment, (3) that development is normative, and (4) that different cultures have different values. Outlined are the interrelated development dimensions of cognitive skills, reality, relatedness, and autonomy. Since the author believes development occurs as a result of individuals' interaction with their environment, research on the effect of school size, student role, and the social organization of the classroom on adolescent development is examined. The research suggests that the typical secondary school has a deleterious effect on adolescent development. Schools are too big, students are often excluded from active roles in governance, and classrooms are often too competitive. In conclusion the author points out that secondary schools provide powerful levers to facilitate as well as to impede the adolescent development process. Included is an extensive bibliography. (MD)
Descriptors: Adolescent Development, Affiliation Need, Class Organization, Educational Environment, Friendship, Individual Development, Interpersonal Competence, Interpersonal Relationship, Personal Autonomy, Psychology, School Activities, School Organization, School Size, Secondary Education, Student Role, Student School Relationship
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, San Francisco, CA.; Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).