ERIC Number: ED206404
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Early Adolescence: Social/Psychological Issues.
It is the misfortune of young adolescents that just at the point in their lives when they are seeking definition, two areas of confusion and ignorance converge: confusion about the purposes of schooling for young adolescents and ignorance about early adolescence as a critical developmental stage in the life span. Some myths which prohibit better services to young adolescents include the following: (1) adolescence is "normally pathological," (2) adolescents are a homogeneous group, (3) adolescents are children, (4) adolescent growth is continuous and uniformly synchronized, and (5) adolescence is a "transitional" time of life. Beliefs such as these diminish the ability of teachers to perceive and effectively respond to adolescents' needs which originate in socio-emotional developmental tasks such as forming commitments, outgrowing characteristic forms of egocentrism, and, importantly, exploring the capacity to think abstractly. Current teacher training practices do not sufficiently stress development; secondary school teachers are therefore not adequately prepared for teaching adolescents. Once in schools, teachers can expect little help from the misused school guidance system. Since no utopian solutions to the problems of educating young adolescents exist, two questions should be kept in mind to keep practice on the right track: How do we want adolescents to grow up in America? and, What do we want adolescents to be doing? (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (St. Louis, MO, March 7-10, 1981).