Literary Meaning of Adolescence Adolescence (from Latin: adolescere meaning "to growup“) is a transitional age ofphysical and psychological human developmentgenerally occurring during the period from puberty to legaladulthood (age of majority).The period of adolescence ismost closely associated with the teenage years, though itsphysical, psychological and cultural expressions can beginearlier and end later.
Three main stages of adolescence can be discerned as :- Early adolescence (9-13 years) – characterized by a spurt ofgrowth and the development of secondary sexual characteristics. Mid adolescence (14-15 years) – this stage is distinguished by thedevelopment of a separate identity from parents, of newrelationships with peer groups and the opposite sex, and ofexperimentation. Late adolescence (16-19 years) – At this stage, adolescents havefully developed physical characteristics (similar to adults), and haveformed a distinct identity and have well-formed opinions andideas.(NCERT 1999)
Development Characteristics of young adolescence Adolescence is a critical time of identity formation, with theoutset of puberty comes an explosion of growth-physical, intellectual, emotional, social ,and spiritual.Understanding the nature and scope of adolescent developmentand responding appropriately requires patience, empathy, and asense of homour. Young people “progress” throughadolescence, no two following the same pathway. Most Sixthgrades show signs of emerging traits, while many eight gradersexhibit more pronounced characteristics.
Development Characteristics of young adolescencePhysical : - Experience onset of puberty, develop secondary sexcharacteristics Grow rapidly, are often clumsy and uncoordinated Become highly self-conscious, body image can affect self-image Fluctuate between hyperactivity and lethargy Need physical activity
Development Characteristics of young adolescenceCognitive- Intellectual: - develop ability to think abstractly, but many still think in literal terms. Develop critical thinking skills and become more self-aware, self-critical. Exhibit increased communication skills. Becomes argumentative and demonstrate an intense need to be “right”. Develop decision making skills and wants a voice in their choices. Show intense focus on a new interest but lack discipline to sustain it.
Emotional They are unpredictable emotionally, are sensitive and prone tooutbursts. Are vulnerable to emotional pleas and can be easilymanipulated Exhibit an increasing capacity for empathy Experience increasing sexual feeling may engage in sexualbehaviour without realizing consequence
Social - interpersonal Display a more developed social consciousness. Are more aware of relational ships and have a strong need tobelong Exhibit desire for independence and autonomy Experience a shift in dependence on family to dependence onpeers. Able to critically compare parents with others. Seek deeper friendship based on shared interests loyalty Experience incresed interest in oppsosite sex, though may aftenfeel uncomfortable and awkward with the other sex.
Moral Tend to be legalistic, focusing on “rules” and “fairness” Refrain moral belief of parents but begin to test rules ofchildhood Are influenced bt the values of peers Form a more personal conscience, seek moral criteria thatmake sense to them Exhibit a stronger sense of responsibility towards largersociety
Spiritual Exhibit “affinitive faith”(faith indentify shaped by family andcommunity) Are open to service opportunities primarily to correct withpeers, test skills Can be open to new prayer experience Seek adult role models who live their faith authentically Desire a deeper relationship with god Begin moving away from religious imagery, beliefs and practices ofchildhood, many begin to explore new images of god.
Common Problems of Adolescence Problems of the stage of adolescent:- The adolescent is a problem-individual. There are manyproblems around him and he needs help and guidancefor their solution at every step. The following problemsare the most significant in this stage.
Excessive Energy Adolescence is the stage of excessive energy. In-take offood is increased in this stage and general health is alsoimproved. The result is excessive energy. The adolescentneeds more activity for catharsis of excessive energy. Our traditional schools do not provide such physicalactivity. Consequently, the adolescent is restless. Variousactivities act as sublimation for the adolescents and theyfeel relieved.
Misunderstandings Concerning Sex With the advent of adolescence the gonads come into activityfor the first time. The appearance of secondary sexualcharacteristics is due to the same. They produce emotionalupheaval in the adolescent. The first appearance of menstrual course or nocturnalemission bewilders and shocks the adolescent who is quiteignorant about it. The school should supply right kind ofinformation regarding sex at this stage. Due to ignoranceabout sex, many promising personalities are doomed.
Aggressiveness or Withdrawal When an adolescent cannot adjust himself with theworld, he grows to be aggressive or withdraws from thefield and his personality is arrested. If the conflict is tooserious, he regresses. The school should provide ample opportunities to thechildren to express themselves properly. Co curricularactivities, scouting student self-government and changedmethods of instruction can go a long way in enabling theadolescent to adjust him with the world.
Rebellious Attitude The adolescents are no more children. They should berecognized as young men and women in the school as well asin the home. Their craving for independence should besatisfied to some extent. They should be given someresponsibility. They turn to be very obedient if they are trusted. But thingsdo not work so smoothly in ordinary schools and homes.Their sense of independence and responsibility is seldomrecognized. The result is rebellion against authority.
Physical Awkwardness Most of the adolescents have the feeling of physicalclumsiness. Consequently their movements stand to beawkward and unbalanced. They may be corrected in theplayground and on the stage. Games and dancing willgive them harmonious and balanced movements. Socialservice at the occasion of festivals etc. and practicalwork can help the children in this respect.
Excessive Day-Dreaming Day-dreaming is normal at this stage but when it growsto excessive it may be injurious as far as development ofpersonality is concerned. The teacher should note thatthe adolescents are active and busy in their studies andother aspects of school life. The children indulging inexcessive day-dreaming should be encouraged to beconstructive and creative.
Emancipation It is the ambition for freedom from parental sovereign.The individual hates control of the parents. He seeksidentity to himself.
Economic independence: This is another problem of economic independence.Money from parents for personal expense is a majorproblem.
Emotional tension Emotional development is at maximum and unstable.Self respect and personal pride make the individualemotionally bad. He expects the things to be done as heaspires.
Personal appearance This is a significant problem. The adolescent is muchworried about the appearance with modern and latestlife style at any cost.
Morphological / Developmental Problems over growth of hair or undergrowth of hair over weight and underweight skin colour problems Facial deformities, pimples, etc. Limb deformities Abnormal growth of genitals and breasts.
Psychological Problems…. Ignorance about many basic facts leads to psychologicalproblems like Misconceptions about sexual feelings, sexrelated issues. Misconceptions about child birth, reproduction. Misconceptions about coitus, menstrual cycles. Fear about sex and sexual issues. Guilt feeling about sex related issues.Continue……..
Psychological Problems….. Inferiority / Superiority complex about skin colour, beauty, mentalability and IQ. Inexplicable perceptions about dress and fashion codes. Wrong and unrealistic ideologies about friendship and courtship. Perceptional or communicational or preconceived complicationsabout their teachers and parents. Attraction towards opposite sex. Unrealistic and illogical curiosity about sex and sex related issues. Exceptional vulnerability to suicide psychology.
Social Anticipated unemployment and insecurity due to unemployment.Unwarranted and inexplicable hatredness towards brother /sisters, friends. Intense closeness with brothers / sisters, friends. Unpredictable and volatile relationships with friends. Unrealistic social perceptions about violence, love, sex as influencedby media. Unusually vulnerable and volatile relations with relatives. Fear / imagination about married life, life partners.
Educational Tensions of attending the classes, examinations and tests. Low IQ feeling. Fear about failure in examination. Fear about low score. Fear and concern about a future career. Misconceptions about teachers.
Navodaya vidyalayas being purely residential institutes, the role ofHouse Master, House Mistress, Staff Nurse and other teaching andcreative faculties becomes very important as at the time of entry ofa new student in Class VI, he is at the initial stage of Adolescence.Moreover, She/he is fully dependenant on Vidyalaya as a wholeand on different staff members individually or separately.Here, House Master and House Mistress plays a vital role ofParents/ Guardians. Role of Staff nurse is equally important.
Role of the teacher in solving problemsand proper physical, mental, emotionaland social development of the adolescent
1. Proper Physical Development The teacher should plan for this aspect in the followingmanner :1. By organizing various types of physicalexercises, sports and games,2. By imparting a proper knowledge about physical andhealth education.3. By organizing various types of extracurricularactivities.
2. Proper Mental Development The mental development of the adolescent should beaccording to the following lines:1. It should be according to the ability and aptitude ofthe pupils.2. They should study both arts and science subjects.3. Excursions to various places may be organized.
Proper Mental Development continues…..4. Modern methods of teaching should be used to teachvarious subjects.5. 5.All the school teachers should try to impart him necessaryguidance as and when required.6. 6.They should be entrusted with responsibility so as todevelop a feeling of responsibility in them.7. 7.The teacher should keep in view that there are individualdifferences among students. Every child should be able tofind out subjects of his choice.
3. Proper Emotional Development The emotional development of the adolescent should beas follows:1. The teacher should try to sublimate the loweremotions of the child.2. A healthy emotional atmosphere should bemaintained in the school.3. The teacher should try to avoid frustration among theadolescents.
Proper Emotional Development continues…4. The teacher should pay due regard to the personalityof every child.5. The adolescent should be imparted proper knowledgeabout sex. If this aspect is properly attended to itwould lead to a better emotional development.
4. Proper Social DevelopmentThe social development of the adolescent may be asfollows:1. He should have knowledge about social relations andhe should know the art of group-living. Various groupactivities may be organized.
Proper Social Development continues…2. A right and rational attitude towards democracyshould be developed in the school atmosphere. Thiswould enable the child to develop his own philosophyof life.3. The Kothari Commission has emphasized theinstruction of moral and spiritual values. We shouldtry to impart a right and rational knowledge of variousreligions to the adolescent.