Characteristics Of Young Adolescents Education Essay

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Characteristic: Young adolescents are at a unique, vulnerable time in their lives, when adults continue to be important to them.

Adolescent Need: They need relationships with reassuring and informed adults who like and respect them, and who serve as role models and

advisors to them.

Characteristic: Young adolescents seek limited independence and autonomy;

may imagine themselves to be vulnerable to dangerous risks.

Adolescent Need: They need adult guidance in setting clear limits, but they should help to make rules within those guidelines.

Characteristic: Young adolescents live in a constantly expanding world, as they master new social skills and begin to see themselves in relation

to their communities and to society in general.

Adolescent Need: They need opportunities to make meaningful contributions to their communities, so they see themselves as participants, not observers, in society.

Characteristic: Young adolescents question rules and beliefs that had been

accepted on face value up until now.

Adolescent Need: They need to have a voice in planning the activities that shape their lives.

Characteristic: Young adolescents are a diverse and challenging age group with which to work.

Adolescent Need: They need youth workers who like and respect them for who they are right now; who respond sensitively to both their present joys

and confusion, and their dreams and worries about the future.

Characteristic: Young adolescents grow more rapidly than at any other time in their lives except infancy.

Adolescent Need: They need lots of physical activity - not intense competition - and time for relaxation, too.

Characteristic: Young adolescents change at different rates, according to highly individual internal "clocks," can be painfully self-conscious and

critical, and are vulnerable to bouts of low self-esteem.

Adolescent Need: Adolescents' needs may vary opportunities to achieve and to have their competence recognized by others.

Characteristic: Young adolescents develop secondary sex characteristics and the capacity to reproduce; develop new thinking skills.

Adolescent Need: They need time for self-definition; that is, time to reflect upon and absorb their new "look," new ways of thinking, and new

reactions from others

Characteristic: Young adolescents have new interests and abilities, as well as many feelings, thoughts, and concerns about themselves and the

world around them.

Adolescent Need: They need opportunities to express creatively these new

interests, thoughts, and emotions

Characteristic: Young adolescents identify with their peer group, and want to

belong; develop deepening, mutual friendships.

Adolescent Need: They need opportunities to form positive relations and

experiences with peers.

Seven Developmental Needs of Young Adolescents

¨ Physical Activity

Young adolescents' spurts of boundless energy are as well known as their

periods of dreamy lethargy. They need time to stretch, wiggle, and exercise

their rapidly growing bodies; they also need time to relax. Adults who work with

young adolescents need to remember the diversity in strength, dexterity, and

size of youth in this age group. Intensely competitive physical activity often

places an unnecessary burden on late-bloomers that cannot compete

successfully. Early-bloomers who are pressured into conforming to sexual

stereotypes that reward athletic prowess rather than intellectual or social

development also can be harmed by stressful sports competition.

¨€ € Competence and Achievement

Because young adolescents experience extraordinary self-consciousness about

their own new selves and the attitudes of others toward them, it is easy to

understand their overwhelming desire to do something well and to receive

admiration for achievement. Young people hunger for chances to prove

themselves; especially in ways that are rewarding if all goes well and not

devastating if there are some disappointments. Young adolescents need to

know that what they do is valued by others whom they respect.

¨€ € Self-Definition

Rapidly changing bodies and minds require time to adsorb new ways of thinking,

new mirrored reflections, and new reactions to others. To accommodate the new

selves that they are becoming, young adolescents need changes to consider

what it means to be a man or woman and to belong to a race or ethnic group.

They need time to find a friend and share a secret, or to have a good talk with an

adult. They need opportunities to explore their widening world and to reflect

upon the meaning of new experiences, so that they can begin to consider

themselves not just as observers, but as participants in society.


Creative Expression

Opportunities to express creatively their new feelings, interests, abilities, and

thoughts help young adolescents understand and accept the new people they

are becoming. Performing and being exposed to drama, literature, and musical

works of others help them see that people before them have felt the emotions

and thought the ideas that are new and confusing to them. In addition to the

arts, young adolescents can find opportunities for creative expression in sports

such as synchronized swimming and roller skating and in activities like tending a

garden, or painting a wall mural.

Understanding Learning Styles:

Students learn in different ways. Some students prefer to read at their own

pace, others enjoy attending lectures. Some may choose to define a problem

and search for their answers independently, while other students request

specific objectives and assignments. Most students develop learning styles,

which emphasize some learning abilities over others (Blackwell, 1985, pp.13).

Learning styles or abilities are developed and influenced by heredity, past life

experiences, and the demands of our present environments (Blackwell, 1985,


Kolb (1986) identifies four learning modes:

·€ € Concrete Experience (CE),

·€ € Reflective Observation (RO),

·€ € Abstract Conceptualization (AC)

·€ € Active Experimentation (AE).

Adolescence comes from a Latin word and means 'to blossom, to grow'. The developmental tasks of adolescence are identity formation and separation from the family. Adolescents look outside the family for role models and possible identities and try them out. Adolescence is also the time when any anxieties left over from an earlier stage of individuation, the toddler stage, may resurface. Toddlership is about our first separation, beginning to explore the world beyond mummy, hopefully learning that we can be safe in the world without her constant protection.

In relation to developmental considerations, it is important to assess whether any anxieties an adolescent is expressing are developmental or traumatic. Because a large part of normal adolescent behaviour is about limit testing, defying authority figures and experimenting sexually, aggressive impulses are normal. However, in a traumatised adolescent, acting out can be a defence against anxiety, a cry for help.

Kids from dysfunctional families, and any family in which sexual abuse occurs is dysfunctional, will have greater difficulties. In families where maternal deprivation is also an element, early developmental tasks may not be completed and basic trust may not have been developed. An adolescent without basic trust, further disorganised by sexual abuse by an adult in a position of trust, will be your most highly acting out adolescent, most likely in self destructive ways.

I hope this sets the scene.

People cope with sexual assault in the same way as they cope with any other trauma. So in working with survivors it is important to assess their coping abilities and style. For a survivor of a once off extrafamilial sexual assault who comes from an intact family and has resolved her or his developmental milestones as adequately as any of us do, crisis intervention work is all that may be required, helping to restore normal defences that have been disorganised by trauma.

Adolescents can be put into two categories that describe their coping style or level of maturity -the internalising adolescent and the externalising adolescent. The internalising adolescent is more mature, has some mastery over developmental milestones and in the counselling situation displays insight and verbal skills. They display genuine concern over their psychological state. These kids are obviously good candidates for therapeutic work. It is important when working with these kids to take it slowly because they will be scared by the idea of someone knowing what they feel, that's too overpowering.

The externalising adolescent lays the blame on everything and everyone outside themselves. Their internal controls are poor, they feel chaotic. Limit setting is vital in order to provide a sense of safety. Those limits will be tested, there will more than likely be an increase in aggression. These kids need to know you can tolerate the powerful feelings frightening them so an appropriate response would be something like `it's O.K. to be angry but it's not O.K. to hit me'. Developmental problems are addressed through security and continuity of care.

The exosystem level includes the other people and places that the child herself may not interact with often herself but that still have a large affect on her, such as parents' workplaces, extended family members, the neighborhood, etc. For example, if a child's parent gets laid off from work, that may have negative affects on the child if her parents are unable to pay rent or to buy groceries; however, if her parent receives a promotion and a raise at work, this may have a positive affect on the child because her parents will be better able to give her her physical needs.

Bronfenbrenner's final level is the macrosystem, which is the largest and most remote set of people and things to a child but which still has a great influence over the child. The macrosystem includes things such as the relative freedoms permitted by the national government, cultural values, the economy, wars, etc. These things can also affect a child either positively or negatively.

External environmental settings, which only indirectly effect development.

A mother gets a new job and must spend time on the road, effecting her relationship with her father and in turn a child's experience at home.

The formal operational stage begins at approximately age twelve to and lasts into adulthood. During this time, people develop the ability to think about abstract concepts. Skills such as logical thought, deductive reasoning, and systematic planning also emerge during this stage.

Formal operational thinking is where children begin to think abstractly  and hypothetically. This begins at about 12 years old and continues throughout adulthood. This stage of thinking begins at about the junior high school level and progresses as they move through high school, college, and eventually graduate school. By the time the reach the college level, many students are beginning to master the art of metaphore and acronyms in their learning.

School related factors comprise a very important part of students' perceptions.about school. Dwyer argues "If there is one consistent theme that cuts across all the complexity and diversity associated with early school leaving it is that the school culture ultimately is what makes the difference" (1996, 75). Druin and Butler (1999) claim an effective school culture comprises a positive school climate. Marks (1998) investigated school climate in Australia through a longitudinal study, assessing students' perceptions of the quality of school life. Marks found Year 9 students' general satisfaction with school between the '80s and '90s has declined largely due to large between-schools differences in attitudes to teachers. This suggests that school climate is the result of interactions between teachers/administrators and students. Certain school climates have been found to be more conducive to positive student outcomes, irrespective of differences in within-student attributes (e.g. McEvoy and Welker 2000). What has not been explored to date is whether parenting influences the way students perceive school climate, the degree to which this occurs and whether these perceptions differ between typical, resilient and students failing academically.

The ecological theory is used to describe the development of children by looking

at the environmental factors and external influences that aid in the positive outcome of children. Since the ecological model uses external influences, it is better

able to incorporate the student's school, family, community and culture to provide a

better understanding of all the factors that could be contributing to the person's

problem. The inclusion of all areas in a student's life makes the ecological model a

better framework for identifying appropriate interventions for students with problems.

By understanding the four systems at work in the life of a student, we are not

only looking at causes but also looking at possible sources of strength and healing within these systems. Whether in school or home or in ones culture or community, we

are better able to determine which system can offer healing and resilience. Starting at the individual level, one must look at the student's physical, mental, behavioural aspects to determine any deviations. Once the assessment is done, the microsystems in the student's life, such as the family, schools, parents, siblings, friends in school are

all looked at for any causes of conflict. Students experiencing problems with parents,

having issues with close friends, or the student's behaviour in class or his school work all must be studied to see areas of maladaptive behaviour.

Looking in the student's community can also provide insight to other areas of support for the student. Macrosystem also help explain depression in many students, with cultural

values moving more towards high passed, technology oriented thinking, we tend to hav

little time to talk and listen to our children. Social conditions adding to the stress and

anxiety of a child also help explain why depression is at a rise in our society and

counselors can than use this to determine exactly where the problems arises to finally

develop a plan for healing to begin. The goal of looking at the ecological model for

students with depression is to better be able to design and implement effective

interventions to address depression. Collaborating with all people involved in a child's

life, interventions can refocus from the person to rebalancing the systems of people, place

and things that directly and indirectly influence the person. The ecological model opens

up the areas of the student's depression and areas of support and healing within their

systems (Karan, et al 2005).

The ecological model incorporates all areas of influence on the development of

children to assess the cause and also the solution to some of the increasing behavioral and

emotional problems seen today. To see the interplay of micro and exosystems, research

by Warren looked at the habits of television viewing in children in relation to parental