WHO WE ARE
Education Administrators Associates was initiated by Dr. John Brownridge, an educator and school principal with extensive knowledge and expertise in the field of Education, and experience in both North America and the United Kingdom. EAA's objective is to offer resource, assistance, and consultation to professional educators in the English-speaking world.
A variety of issues of interest and concern to educators will be presented and considered in this blog on a weekly basis. All educators, whether teachers, administrators or consultants, are invited to comment on the Contacts Page.
None of us can be experts in every field. Yet, as teachers we are expected to be knowledgeable on a whole range of topics, especially those that relate directly or indirectly to education. The parents of our students frequently have questions and concerns about curriculum, special programs, and new innovations they have heard about through news media. Our colleagues, friends and acquaintances may seek explanations and definitions. It is in our own interest to have a cursory knowledge of issues outside our areas of expertise, and to be capable of providing some insight into a variety of educational topics.
This weekly blog will explore many educational topics. Please check in on a regular basis, and do feel free to submit your comments and questions on the Contacts Page. As teachers, we have a wealth of experience to share.
The Psychology of Adolescence
Adolescence is primarily a transitional stage of human development during which a juvenile matures into an adult. Although dramatic biological changes occur during this period the social and psychological effects can be equally dramatic. The endpoints of physical change are not easily determined as they vary from one individual to another, but adolescence is also a cultural phenomenon and education systems are organized to take this into account.
Transfer to the high school or middle school system usually coincides with the onset of adolescence because educators recognize that fundamental pedagogical changes are required to satisfy the needs of adolescent students.
Although all cultures recognize adolescence as a time of dramatic change in a young person’s life, the adolescent period of life is defined differently from one culture to another. The World Health Organization, for example, defines this period as being between the ages of 10 and 19 while the North American tradition considers it to begin between the age of 12 and 14 and end at 19 or 20. English speaking countries frequently use the term “teenager” and this word is more precise as it clearly defines a person between the ages of 13 and 19. Regardless of these differences in definition, it is during the period of adolescence that children go through the physical stages of puberty, after which all cultures regard them as becoming adults, somewhere towards the end of their teenage years.
Puberty is the most obvious biological change in adolescents as they develop secondary sex characteristics. Hormonal balance shifts towards adulthood and maturation is shown by, for example, a deeper voice in boys and the development of breasts in girls. In most western societies, the onset of puberty has tended to occur at an earlier age in recent years. Some theorists claim that improved nutrition and a greater caloric intake can account for this, while others suggest that climate change and global warming are significant factors as well.
While puberty is an interesting area of study in itself, it is the social and psychological implications of puberty that most concern educators. Some studies have made use of the term “emerging adults” to refer to adolescents in the later stages of this developmental process. Educators are keenly aware that students in their late teens are no longer children. Such students typically seek independence from normative expectations and they adjust their social roles in order to find their place within the peer group. Young people in late adolescence are searching for their unique identity and this can often cause anxiety, apprehension, and a loss self confidence.
Most adolescents are able to work their way through the adolescent period, especially with strong support from family and a well constructed education system. A significant number experience severe difficulty, however, and because of unstable emotions they may be more inclined to suffer from disorders such as depression, anorexia, and drug or alcohol abuse. Others seek to establish their own identity by challenging authority and refusing to abide by rules. Professional educators recognize that this is essentially a craving for adulthood and a desire to find a secure place in adult society. Most adolescents will emerge as productive, well-adjusted citizens if they are treated with understanding and patience.
The Problem of Bullying in Schools