Early Adolescent Development

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  • How do these developmental changes reflect in classroom approaches?
  • Small group discussion/question: …You could work with “all the students in the world….why middle schoolers?” Why do you like working with middle school students? Why this population? What are some of the things that make working with MS students so unique?
  • Means that there will be many different behaviors within the same groupNeed to feel part of a peer group. Primary concern will often be peer relationships. Are at-risk in the development of moral and ethical choices and behaviors; primary dependency on the influences of home and church for moral and ethical development seriously compromises adolescents for whom these resources are absent; adolescents want to explore the moral and ethical issues which are confronted in the curriculum, in the media, and In the daily interactions they experience in their families and peer groups
  • Early adolescence are primarily concerned with loosening dependencies upon parents and preoccupied with establishing themselves among their peers.
  • How do these changes impact middle school teachers?Dramatic changesImportance of timingFace responsibility for sexual behavior before full emotional and social maturity has occurred;Again, connection between self-esteem and concept, etc.
  • What does this mean in the classroom?Inquisitive (willing to learn things that they consider useful)Increase in abstract thinking abilites“real world applicability”Are intellectually at-risk; face decisions that have the potential to affect major academic values with lifelong consequences.
  • Bullying ; Testing limits of acceptable behaviortraumatic conflicts due to conflicting loyalties to peer groups and familyAre fiercely loyal to peer group values; sometimes cruel or insensitive to those outside the peer group;individuals evolve their own self-concepts within the peer context
  • Are at-risk in the development of moral and ethical choices and behaviors; primary dependency on the influences of home and church for moral and ethical development seriously compromises adolescents for whom these resources are absent; adolescents want to explore the moral and ethical issues which are confronted in the curriculum, in the media, and In the daily interactions they experience in their families and peer groups
  • This applies to students that need help; connected to self-esteemEases the transition...
  • Early Adolescent Development

    1. 1. Early Adolescent Development <br />Sara Marcus, Ph.D.<br />NyakaNiiLampti, Ph.D.<br />Licensed Psychologists<br />Southeast Psych<br />28 October 2009<br />
    2. 2. Today’s Agenda<br />Identification and discussion of the developmental tasks of middle school students <br />Review of various developmental theories as applied to early adolescent development<br />Identification and discussion of classroom strategies to increase effectiveness with middle school students<br />Questions, comments, personal observations<br />
    3. 3. Why Middle School Students?<br />
    4. 4. Characteristics of Middle School Students<br />Roughly between the ages of 10-14<br />Developmental overlap between middle childhood and early adolescence<br />Beginning to assert independence<br />Focus on self and how they are perceived by others<br />Academics can often be secondary<br />Want to know that they are loved and accepted and need constant affirmation<br />
    5. 5. Questions Middle School Students Are Struggling with <br />Who am I?<br />Who am I in relationship to others?<br />Where do my parents really belong?<br />What’s going on with my body?<br />What do others think of me?<br />What do I do well?<br />
    6. 6. Early Adolescent Development<br />
    7. 7. Physical Development<br />Onset of puberty<br />Generally about two years earlier for girls than boys<br />Can observe the emergence of physical changes during late childhood<br />Hormones<br />Heightened emotionality<br />Acne/other skin breakouts<br />Increase in concern about physical appearance<br />Increase in weight and height<br />Many middle school students feel awkward or strange about their developing bodies<br />
    8. 8. Cognitive development<br />Overlap between concrete operational and formal operational thinking (Piaget)<br />Increase abstract thinking and problem solving abilities<br />Inquisitive<br />Short attention span<br />Orientation to the present<br />Prefer active over passive learning experiences<br />Need relevance in learning <br />Moving towards abstract thinking, with projections to thoughts about the future, ability to set goals, and metacognitive awareness. <br />
    9. 9. Social Development<br />Erikson’s industry vs. inferiority (6-12) and identity vs. role confusion (12-18)<br />Increasing desire for independence but a return to dependence on parental values<br />Increase in sensitivity to peer pressure<br />“Imaginary audience”; self-consciousness<br /> “Trying on” of new behaviors and attitudes<br />Frequently changing social relationships<br />
    10. 10. Moral Development<br />Pre-conventional and conventional level (Kohlberg)<br />Punishment and reward<br />Social norms and the expectations of others<br />Right and wrong is determined by rewards and punishments<br />Seek approval from others in their choices<br />Begin to ask questions about “fairness” <br />Often idealistic <br />Begin to be reflective and analytical of their thoughts and feelings<br />
    11. 11. Implications for Classroom Teachers<br />Try to avoid “labeling”<br />Design more learning experiences with opportunities for active learning and development of abstract thinking<br />Present educationally and environmentally relevant issues<br />Peers and media are powerful influences- incorporate these voices in your lessons and assignments <br />Encourage students to “have a voice”<br />Provide opportunities for students to have positive relations with adults and experience leadership<br />
    12. 12. The End!<br />Questions? <br />Comments?<br />Cases to problem solve?<br />For further information, please contact us at:<br />smarcus@southeastpsych.com<br />nniilampti@southeastpsych.com<br />704-552-0116<br />Thank you!<br />

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