ERIC Number: ED420712
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
High School as a Rite of Passage for Social and Intellectual Development.
Collinson, Vivienne; Hoffman, Lynn M.
This study of high school students argues that American high school classes continue to be unsuccessful and boring to students because they artificially separate intellectual achievement and social development of adolescents. To understand how students view their high school priorities and the role of their experiences in the transition from adolescence to adulthood, this study used interviews of students in five high school yearbook classes in a large cosmopolitan school system and an analysis of their yearbooks. Individual students completed questionnaires and each class participated in a focus group session for 45 to 90 minutes. These students valued the markers of independence outlined by H. Chang (1992): getting along with everyone, becoming independent, and getting involved. They mentioned friends as their most memorable high school experience. The students' responses make it clear that opportunities for adolescents to develop socially are not readily available in academic classes as they are presently taught. The subject matter may appear marginally relevant, but the outcomes are artificial. Student social development occurs outside of class. What they value and remember are the rites and rituals that act as markers of independence on their journeys toward adulthood. The sophomore year had the fewest rites, creating a sort of sophomore slump. A way to respond to their school needs and their disenchantment with academic classes would be to design academic rites of passage that capitalize on their desire to become adults. Another way would be to redesign instructional practices. (Contains 1 table and 33 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A