Youth & Young Adult Ministries Session Two Early Adolescence & Conceptual Framework for Tapestry of Faith
Early Adolescence (ages 12-15)ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT
Physical Growth• Peak time of physical growth—puberty• Transitions towards adult body• Eats and sleeps more• Demonstrates or does not demonstrate behaviors that may indicate risk for eating disorders or depression• Seeks support for self-esteem and body image
Cognitive, Intellectual Development• Moves from only concrete thinking to more abstract thinking, including hypothetical thinking• Concentrates on self and other’s perceptions of self• Engages an “imaginary audience,” a mental idea of others watching• Particular intelligence strengths become evident (linguistic, mathematical, interpersonal, musical)
Social, Affective Development• Social relationships with peers are very important• Acceptance with peers is often important—may seek “similar” peers as a means of affirming self (e.g. same race peers, or similarly athletic peers, etc.)• Explores racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities• May enact racial/ethnic/gender stereotypes as part of the process of developing their own identity
Social, Affective Development• May have heightened consciousness about race (e.g. multi-racial youth may feel pressure to “fit in” with one racial group)• Learns social scripts (embedded in the contexts of race, ethnicity, and class) about what it means to be a sexual person• Expresses criticism of self and others
Moral Development• Demonstrates interest in ethics of care and justice• Respects social order, although sometimes challenges it as well• Learns how to put ethics of justice into action through community service
Spiritual, Religious, Faith Development• Enjoys presence or absence of religious creed• Expresses interest in religion that embodies one’s values• Sustains faith development by engaging with a community that allows questioning
Support for Early Adolescent Stage• Support a critical perspective on media images of beauty and adulthood• Promote healthy body image and self-esteem• Affirm and support the youth’s many physical, emotional and cognitive changes• Be flexible and responsive• Model respect• Provide opportunities for complex thinking and the pondering of big questions• Listen first
Support for Early Adolescent Stage• Recognize that challenging authority provides an outlet for new cognitive skills• Afford autonomy within limits of safety• Engage in honest, supportive talk about sexuality• Provide information and resources about healthy sexuality that affirm a range of sexualities and gender identities• Provide outlets for questioning faith, religion and creed• Have a sense of humor!
Youth Ministry in Early Adolescence• The importance of family• Safety, Priority #1• Fitting in
Generational Faith Formation• Builder Generation (1945 and earlier)• Baby Boom Generation (1946–1964)• Generation X (1965–1979)• Millennial Generation (1980–1999)• Generation 2000 or the iGeneration (2000–)
Plurals• The continual erosion of dominant media• The rapid emergence of fragmented and niche- based voices• The power of ground-up consensus building• The bold contrast of Gen X and Baby Boomer parenting styles• The growing conflicts surrounding demographic changes• The second-longest economic decline in U.S. history
Plurals• America’s last generation with a Caucasian majority• The most positive about America becoming more ethnically diverse• Existing in the most diverse social circles• The least likely to believe in the “American Dream”• Beginning to reflect the Gen X parenting style in their mindset• Affected by blended gender roles
Tapestry of Faith Conceptual FrameworkTapestry of Faith, the UUA’s online curriculumseries is based on a theoretical model thatintegrates four strands:• Ethical Development• Spiritual Development• UU Religious Identity• Faith Development
Ethical DevelopmentImagine youth and young adults who realize thatthey are moral agents, capable of making adifference in the lives of others, challengingstructures of social and political oppressions, andpromoting the health and well-being of theplanet.
Spiritual DevelopmentKnowing that they are lovable beings…obligatedto use their gifts, talents and potentials in theservice of life.Appreciates the value of spiritual practice…
UU IdentityAffirm that they are part of a UU religiousheritage…recognizing the need for community;affirming the importance of families…acceptingthat they are responsible for the stewardship andcreative transformation of their religiousheritage…in the service of diversity , justice andcompassion.
Faith DevelopmentIntegrate beliefs and values with everyday life.(Developmental stages of faith development,intertwining with other developmental theories).Demonstrating ethical living and acquiring lifeskills.
Tapestry of Faith Curricula for Early AdolescenceFamilies is part of the Tapestry of Faith, thelifespan integrated curriculum series developedby the Unitarian Universalist Association ofCongregations. Embedded in this program isattention to four strands of development: ethical,spiritual, Unitarian Universalist religiousidentity, and faith development.
Families: Ethical DevelopmentThe program is designed to help adolescents:• Broaden and deepen their understandings and definitions of families, including the roles and functions of families• Explore the meaning of healthy families in a diversity of forms• Value each persons individual worth and realize his/her unique perspective as an interpreter of our world and as a teller of our stories• Build and foster the ability to understand multiple perspectives• Develop the ethics of care and responsibility through the intimate and ethical process of engaging with and representing families
Families: Spiritual DevelopmentThe program is designed to help adolescents:• Understand and appreciate the emotional, affective, and spiritual dimensions of families• Develop a personal sense of values regarding families• Deepen spirituality through engagement with others and through their work with artistic media• Engage in the shared ministry of focusing—literally and figuratively—on the faces and narratives of congregation members• Grow and deepen their naturally compassionate souls• Engage joyfully in the creation of art
Families: UU Religious IdentityThe program is designed to help adolescents:• Learn more fully that there is no "objective" point of view• Understand how the living tradition of the UU faith and its Principles can interpret and guide families• Learn how the fundamentals of photography translate to our way of living and interpreting the world in a more general way
Families: Faith DevelopmentThe program is designed to help adolescents:• Engage as leaders of a project that serves the greater congregation and affirms more deeply their place in interdependent, multigenerational, congregational life• Collaborate with peers• Experience the roles of photographer/artist and storyteller—visual and/or text—within a faith community
Tapestry of Faith Curricula for Early AdolescenceHeeding the Call: Qualities Of A Justice Maker• Identify qualities needed to create justice• Explore social justice as individual and collective acts of our spiritual journey• Demonstrate how to engage in social justice work• Connect youths sense of belonging to Unitarian Universalism by learning about the social justice actions of Unitarian Universalists• Provide youth with tools they can use in justice work.
Our Whole LivesSexuality Education for Grades 7‐9
Our Whole Lives (OWL) values• Self Worth• Sexual Health• Responsibility• Justice and InclusivityOWL models and teaches caring, compassion,respect, and justice. It helps adolescents addresstheir attitudes, values, and feelings aboutthemselves, their sexuality, and others’ sexuality.
Tapestry of Faith Curricula for Early AdolescenceComing of Age Handbook for Congregations• Identify qualities needed to create justice• Explore social justice as individual and collective acts of our spiritual journey• Demonstrate how to engage in social justice work• Connect youths sense of belonging to Unitarian Universalism by learning about the social justice actions of Unitarian Universalists• Provide youth with tools they can use in justice work.