Renaissance in Schools
In order to begin to discuss a transformation in our schools, perhaps a brief overview of what we know about adolescent development in past eras in the United States is in order. Let's look at some of the historical issues of adolescence before discussing the teenager of today. Up until the Industrial Revolution, an adolescent period of development was not even acknowledged. Children were considered miniature adults. Once the biological (pubertal) changes occurred, the youngster was encouraged to marry and have a large number of children to share the workload, usually on the farm.
With the industrialization of America, children, especially early adolescents, were exploited as cheap labor in manufacturing and mining operations.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, with the advent of child labor laws and compulsory education, children stayed in grade school longer, and eventually many more attended high school. In the first half of this century, our educational system became a showplace and a shining example of what a young country can do in terms of public education. As the decades passed, the time between puberty and full