Schooling for Change: Reinventing Education for Early Adolescents

By Andy Hargreaves; Jim Ryan et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Adolescence and Adolescents

What is Adolescence?

If the prime purpose of education for young adolescents is to provide curriculum, teaching and other services based on their needs and characteristics, it is important to understand the nature of adolescence.

Adolescence itself, as it is understood and experienced in most Western industrial societies, is the transition from childhood to adulthood, beginning with puberty. It is a period of development more rapid than any other phase of life except infancy. Adolescent development is neither singular nor simple, and aspects of growth during adolescence are seldom in step with each other, neither within individuals nor among peers (TFEYA, 1989). Early adolescents (aged 10 to 14) are complex, diverse and unpredictable (Shultz, 1981; Thornburg, 1982). At this time in their lives, young people are no longer children, nor are they adults. For the first time, many remarkable things begin to occur in adolescents’ lives. Adolescents discover that their bodies are changing dramatically; they begin to use more advanced mental abilities; and they become extremely conscious of their relationships with others (Palomares and Ball, 1980).

Development and Maturation

Adolescence is a time of enormous physical changes characterized by increases in body height and weight, the maturation of primary and secondary sex characteristics, and increased formal mental operations. As these changes occur, adolescents are very aware of them and must adjust psychologically to these changes within themselves and to the developmental variations that occur within their adolescent group. There is a strong concern among adolescents with how they match up to common behavioral and physical stereotypes (Thornburg, 1982). They also compare themselves to their peers, who may or not be maturing at the same rate (Babcock et al, 1972; Osborne, 1984; Simmons and Blyth, 1987). In addition, changes in school bring changes in the peer group, making social comparisons even more complex (Simmons and Blyth, 1987).

Just as with physical maturation, the rate of intellectual maturation varies among students, and even within individual students over time (TFEYA, 1989). Adolescents expand their conceptual range from concrete operational concerns


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Schooling for Change: Reinventing Education for Early Adolescents


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 218

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?