Developmental Assets And The Relation To Education And Young People

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Developmental assets are assets that include both outside experiences that provide young people with foundation, blessings and boundaries and the internal values, courage and responsibilities that they need in order to thrive in the real world. Development assets have become very popular when it comes to education and building assets with and for your children. Using these assets will get the youth ready for adulthood and the real world because education has been taken for granted for a very long time but little do people know that it is one of the most precious assets one can have. The purpose of schooling is to prepare the students for the future and for what is to come. However, this is not always a simple assignment because everyone's learning technique is different, their views on education are not always the same and they do sometimes vary. Michael de Montaigne, one of the great philosophers, stated, "That the greatest and most important difficulty known to human learning seems to lie in that area which treats how to bring up children and how to educate them. " Learning takes time and is an on-going process. The task of teaching children can be daunting even for someone with years of education and experience and each school year brings forth new challenges (Montell, 2003).   With that being said, educators should find different ways that the textbook relates to the student's real life experiences that they have had. Students learning techniques will become exceptional when they are able to connect or relate between a real life experience and the lesson being taught in the classroom. When students can relate to a lesson being taught in the classroom to their real life situations, they become excelling learners and they generally ace the learning process.

Adolescents are sometimes called "young adults" or "teenagers." The years of adolescence range from 12 years old to 18 or 19 years old.    Adolescence generally begins after the middle childhood stage and it generally ends right before the adulthood where a great deal of change takes place. The years of adolescence can be overwhelming and sometimes difficult.  At this stage, a great deal of change is so obvious because the young adult is trying to prepare for their adulthood. According to Kohlberg (1958), for example, in stage three, children--"who are by now usually entering their teens--see morality as other focused or relational. "The adolescent believes people should live up to the expectations of the family and community and behave in "good" ways. Good behavior means having good motives and interpersonal feelings such as love, empathy, trust, and concern for others. "In early adolescence   puberty is present and it brings about several changes, emotionally and physically."  The adolescent stage is taken a little more serious and one becomes aware of obeying the laws and respecting authority and doing what it takes to maintain life in a lawful, peaceful manner. From our required readings in the past, Erikson argued that the child's early sense of identity comes partly "unglued" because of the combination of rapid body growth and the sexual changes of puberty (Papalia, Olds, Feldman, 2008).  During this phase a young person makes the transition from a child to an adult.  During this stage Erikson refers to the identity of adolescents as going through a crisis.   He refers to the crisis of adolescents as a stage of identity verses role confusion. Every person matures and develops differently.   An age to where puberty begins or ends cannot be set because everyone is different and unique in their own way.  

In middle childhood (6-12 years), the child develops a stronger sense of right and wrong (4) alongside cognitive development.  Moral reasoning correlates with cognitive development and social development and during this period there is also a rapid development of mental skills, greater ability to describe experiences and talk about thoughts and feelings and less focus on one's self and more concern for others (Webb, Metha & Jordan, 2010). This is also reflected in moral decisions. For example, Piaget's moral theory has only two stages. In middle and late childhood (younger than 10 or 11) and older childhood (older than 10 or 11), Piaget studied many aspects of moral judgment, but most of his findings fit into a two-stage theory. Children younger than 10 or 11 years think about moral dilemmas one way; older children consider them differently. According to Piaget's findings, the younger children regard rules as fixed and absolute. They believe that rules are handed down by adults or by God and that one cannot change them. (1) At this age, then, according to Piaget, "as the child's  (8 - 12 years) ability for logical thought increases, her or his moral judgment also develops, as well as numbers and special ability become more logical  (concrete operational thought). " Therefore, as the child developments cognitively, her or his moral reasoning also develops and changes. According to Piaget, the older child's (older than 10 or 11) view is more relativistic, mainly because of her or his cognitive development. The idea of right and wrong takes on a social dimension. Rules are set to govern conduct but are also arrangements which humans use to get along accordingly. Thus, as the child develops cognitively and socially, moral reasoning develops and changes qualitatively to consider social and relationships in moral reasoning.  Piaget did not go beyond late childhood or early adolescents, so Kohlberg extended moral development to adolescents.

Early childhood development meant may be defined as the critical years of education for toddlers. During these years they become increasingly aware of their surrounds and the behavior. Children learn so many new things between the ages of three and five and they tend to change the way they think about the world and themselves. Children start to have great motor skills and use their language skills to communicate with other, this is called Cognitive development. Children will adapt to the behaviors which are visual to them. During these years child absorb more information than the average adult over a 4 year span. This is because their sole purpose is to learn and grow. From my experiences with my young children, I feel that children learn by doing things themselves, seeing or watching others doing things and by hearing what others do. Children learn from having the example explained to them aloud. In the early childhood development stage, explaining things to my children in reference to the process of how to do an activity helps them understand by hearing and seeing them work the problem. Children also learn from doing. So this means actually working problems themselves.  I believe children learn best when all this happens while trying to learn an activity or complete a task. I as a parent am involved in the school work and also help with their homework.   Parents staying informed with educational surroundings will also benefit the children because this produces strong character that will carry them through life.

Thus, there is a correlation between adolescent cognitive develop, as suggested by Piaget, with the moral development as posited by both Piaget and Kohlberg. For example, according to Piaget, from about 12 years enter the formal operation level of thinking, and have the ability to reason abstracting. Moral decisions are now made based on what is good for society with the ability to use abstract reasoning. According to Kohlberg, for example, there is another shift in moral reasoning, a shift towards making moral judgments based on maintaining the Social Order. Thus, moral development develops alongside social and cognitive development. I chose the three age levels of early, middle and adolescent childhood because there is a deviation from complete willingness to a connected point of view and to a matter for honorable reasons. And in adolescents, along with abstract thinking and social development, moral development impacts moral decisions that are now aimed at maintaining the social order of society (Papalia, Olds, Feldman, 2008).

Webb, Metha and Jordan discussed some of the risk factor and diversity factors in our text. The factors that I would like to discuss is supportive relationships - engaging with school staff and other adults , family factors - a supportive relationship between parents and their children and school factors - such as academic success, prosocial skills, high expectations for self and realistic understanding of the need for education to succeed in society (Webb, Metha & Jordan, 2010, p.238). Goals should be realistic, however, because if a child feels that he/she can't do it, they won't make an effort either. Teachers should demand nothing less that 100% effort and create a list of as to what is expected for each student to achieve high goals. The higher the level, the harder students have to work to achieve them. Teachers should have the role of that of an instructor, mentor, coach, nurturer and leader. Teachers should never stop learning and expand their own intellectual intelligence so that structure and quality education will be brought into the classroom. Many times these opportunities are largely affected by how the material is presented to the student.   As an educator one is given the opportunity to facilitate the learning of these students and affect their lives in hopes that they use this information to progress forward into the future.   This is part of my goal as wanting to become a teacher and that is to educate the future generations of America because teaching is a unique occupation that will provide me with intrinsic rewards.

Impact of peers on physical, cognitive or social development in middle childhood (8-12 years) and adolescents (12-18 years) have a big impact on ones life especially socially. At this stage, developing confidence through schoolwork, social events, friendship and activities at this time is very important in all areas of life. There is a great deal of emphasis that is brought to friendships and an excessive desire to be accepted by friends (ages 8-12 years). Peer relations impact the child's social development, such as communication and team work. As the child move into adolescents (12-18) the child's interest in friends becomes greater at this point. Healthy peer friendships are very important to your child's social and cognitive development, but peer pressure can be very overwhelming during this time. The child forms stronger, more complex friendships and peer relationship in late childhood. It becomes more emotionally important to have friends, especially of the same sex, which can have a profound impact, especially for as child who is not popular and is instead rejected or neglected by peers. In fact, suicide can occur because of bullying and rejection by a child's peers. Aspects of development are inter-related. "Children who feel good about themselves are more able to resist negative peer pressure and make better choices for themselves." Studies suggest a clear relationship between positive peer relations and well adjusted children with higher levels of social skills and higher levels of self-confidence. Conversely, children identified as neglected, for example, based on socio-metrics, have higher levels of social anxiety (LaGreca, Dandes, Wick, Shaw, & Stone 1988) and lower perceived social competence ( Patterson, Kupersmidt, & Griesler, 1990) than other children.

According to Erikson's theory, for example,  peers and social development play an essential role in resolving psychosocial crisis and identity formation in adolescents, which carries into adulthood  For example, Erikson argues that school aged children are going through the psychosocial crises of industry versus Inferiority(Competence). Erikson believes that the fourth psychosocial crisis is handled, for better or worse, during what he calls the "school age," presumably up to and possibly including some of junior high school.  Here the child learns to master the more formal skills of life: (1) relating with peers according to rules (2) progressing from free play to play that may be elaborately structured by rules and may demand formal teamwork, such as baseball and (3) mastering social studies, reading, arithmetic.  Homework is a necessity, and the need for self-discipline increases yearly.  The child needs his peers to resolve these psychosocial crisis's to have psychological adjustment both in childhood and later in life.

Peers impact on adolescent is high as peers take on an even more profound role during this time. The adolescent often uses her or his peers as a reference group moving away from the parental influence. Peers play a large part in identity formation of the adolescent (Erikson/s theory) and the development of social and emotional and communication skills.  With a positive peer group and one that is supportive, the adolescent forms a positive identity and learns social skills that are congruent with societal values; however, some peers have the opposite effect, like gang membership. The impact of peers is shown when rejection or bullying occurs. For example, according to international studies, "bullying is common and affects anywhere from 9 percent to 54 percent of children". "In the United States, many have blamed bullying for spurring acts of violence, including the Columbine High School massacre."

Moral development can be influenced by peers and family models. For example, if the family has a history of violence or attitudes that reject societal values, the child is more likely to hold these views. Thus, there is high social learning component to moral development as well. Moral development continues into adulthood, as Kohlberg has stages in adulthood as well positive peer relations carry into adulthood also.  Children, who are popular and have strong peer relationships in childhood and adolescents, also have strong friendships and relationships in adulthood.

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