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decorative star graphic Adolescence:
Cognitive Development
- Schools, Learning, & The Adolescent Mind -

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Ψ  What kind of school?
    Ψ  One that offers the optimum person-environment fit (the degree to which a particular environment is conducive to the growth of a particular individual) is the way to go.

The Adolescent Mind in the School Setting

Ψ  Instead of an appropriate person-environmental fit, a volatile mismatch forms between many adolescents & their schools.
    When compared to elementary schools most secondary schools have
  • more rigid behavioral demands.
  • more punitive grading practices.
  • less individualized attention & procedures.

    Ψ  Secondary school teachers see themselves as less effective ( they are ) Their students tend to see then as
  • less friendly.
  • less caring.
  • less helpful.

Ψ  In middle school injuries increase & achievement decreases.

    Ψ  By the end of high school, injuries decrease & achievement rises because
  • the lowest achievers have dropped out.
  • the students have become more intellectually mature.
  • the person-environment fit improves with more freedom of choice.

Culture & Schools

Ψ  Educational goals (and therefore educational content) differ by culture. In Texas, it would seem social promotion is out, as students are measured against minimum standards. The competition model is alive & well, but can be tempered by cooperative learning, examples follow.
      New team research projects
         New in class discussion groups
            New after school study groups

     Note: The school's culture & climate, along with family attitude, rather than the adolescent's innate ability, are the prime ingredients for academic success.

     Note: Intended curriculum refers to the content that educational leaders prescribe, implemented curriculum means what the teachers & the school administration offers, & attained curriculum refers to what students learn. Attained learning, of course, is crucial, intentions & implementation should be readjusted until students are learning as they should.

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

     Part-time employment for the "money" or for any reason for that matter is probably NOT in the best interest of an adolescent.

Lifespan Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates
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