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Chapter Three Discussion

Chapter 3
Amber F.
Judy B.

Adolescence, a term now being conveyed to middle school (11, 12, and 13 year olds), describes not only physical growth, but also emotional growth. As documented in our psychology book, females tend to grow earlier then males, causing girls to look older. How does this affect male and female behavior toward each other? In addition, how might teachers deal with this? Obviously, there are faster and slower maturation rates within the own genders. How may this affect social and mental growth? Also, sex becomes a widely curious topic to adolescents. In schools, there are policies concerning this issue, and in many cases there are health education classes. How might this curiosity pose a threat to class time?

In addition to the physical changes, there are also changes in social characteristics in middle school children. As children become more aware of the reasoning behind certain actions, they tend to understand other people's feelings. Our text suggests that making children more sensitively aware would help produce a more mature response. Besides keeping a "natural, rather then formal (90)" response, how else would a teacher introduce sensitivity to a child? In addition to sensitivity awareness, middle school children tend to conform to their peers. This may be in the form of dress, language, perceived level of education, and in many other ways. How can teachers maintain a level of individualism in the classroom while conformity is the action of choice?

Emotional and cognitive characteristics also play a huge part in middle school children. Children often experience "confusion, anxiety, and depression" (90), according to our book. Also, children tend to be more "self-conscious and self-centered." This will affect the learning environment, but how can we keep the negative aspects to a minimum? In order to keep middle school children interested, the classroom setting must be stimulating. What types of activities will help keep students interested in the curriculum?

The physical, social, emotional, and cognitive characteristics of highschool aged children differs considerably to the middle school aged children. Physically, most students are at the highest maturity level. Knowing this, how does a students view of sex change? In our book, it states that sexual activity increases, and a greater need for sex education exists. How does this affect the classroom environment?

Socially, high school students, tend to dress and look more like their peers, but on other issues, such as religion and beliefs, students are influenced by their parents. Do you agree or disagree with this? Another social characteristic is that students start to work after school. Do you think this helps a students' work ethic, or hinder a students' educational growth?

Emotional characteristics include "eating disorders, substance abuse, schizophrenia, depression, and suicide" (97). Why do you think this occurs in this age catagory? Cognitively, students can create indepth thought, but do not always use their ideas to the highest potential. How can you connect the emotional and cognitive aspects? Also, how can teachers reach their students' highest capability?

The last area of this chapter deals with technologyand its effects. Our book explains IBM's Writing to Read program and the Bubble Dialogue. What are the positive and negative aspects of both? Do you value one over the other? Adventure learnigh, another learning technique, involves students using the internet as a tool to discuss and explore. This seems like a great way to get kids connected to the growing world of technology while learning valuable information. Do you agree with this technique?