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This unit provides foundation knowledge of child and adolescent development to inform teaching and learning in a variety of secondary school contexts. Knowledge of cognitive development, social and emotional learning, moral development and impacts of social and cultural contexts will help students understand and respond to situations in the course of designing, delivering and evaluating learning experiences. The unit also provides essential knowledge needed for teaching professionals to respond appropriately to the developmental needs and learning styles of individual students and within culturally and linguistically learning communities.
- Understand key theories and principles of child and adolescent development and learning.
- Understand the sequences and processes that underpin child and adolescent development.
- Understand the interdependence of aspects of development – physical, cognitive, emotional and social.
- Understand ways in which developmental knowledge and research informs educational policy and teachers’ planning and practice.
- Use child and adolescent development knowledge in planning, implementing and evaluating student learning.
The advent of every new age brings along with its own host of ideological and behavioural alterations across various dimensions, ranging from the social to the cultural spheres of life. While the above two fields of study present a critical viewpoint of the ongoing issues in a society, perhaps a greater look is sought into matters pertaining to the psychological outlook of the society and its various incidental nuances affecting different classes of people within the organized social structure. As regards the 21st Century, it can be safely stated that the defining and most notable characteristic of this generation has been the inculcation of technology – especially, the internet – into our daily lives. Wonderous inventions are being ushered in at blazing speeds, which have made our lives more streamlined and informative, although these changes represent just the tip of the iceberg regarding the benefits of modern technology. However, modern technology has its fair share of influences on the formative minds of adolescents. This sentiment is resplendent in the behaviour of the modern teenagers, as detailed by various media houses, with notable examples being indulging in cyberbullying, internet addiction, reduced social interactions et al. For the purposes of this report, behaviour has been defined as the response of an individual to stimuli in order to adjust to its environment (Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2002).
The main aim of this report is to delve further into the reported behaviour displayed by adolescents in the modern age in order to understand the reason for their occurrence and the different impacts they have on the social and psychological health of teens. Furthermore, the report shall also correspond the aforementioned behaviour displayed by adolescents with the various developmental theories, theories of learning and other sociocultural influences in order to determine the impact of these novel behavioural developments on the learning and growth process of children and teens in this day and age.
2. Prevalent Adolescent Behaviour in the Eyes of the Media
The period of adolescence is fraught with new and harrowing experiences which are conducive to personality and psychological development owing to the formative nature of the mind at this juncture of an individual's life. While many teenage problems are a result of internal conflict stemming from such hormonal and physical developments, the external environment prevalent around the teens is also a major contributor to the extant behaviour of teenagers. Notable instances of such behaviours have been outlined below as reported on by media outlets around the world.
Social Media Usage: As noted above the internet has been one of the most significant developments of the modern age, and with it is the rampant usage of social media. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook have become staple internet applications on every modern teenager's internet connected device and it serves as a portal into the world they have created for themselves, albeit a world which is entirely digital in nature. The appeal of such a world arises mostly due to the ease of access offered by constant high-speed internet connections, the smartphone boom which has permeated our society and perhaps most importantly, the massive number of teenagers who already use such platforms for daily social interactions, as reported by Wired, an established technology media publisher (Choi, 2016). This prevalent behaviour is evident in a report carried out by Pew Research Center which stated that 92 per cent of teenagers in a chosen sample go online on a daily basis (Lenhart, 2015). This mass adoption and utilization of social media by adolescents ergo, can be termed to be a behaviour prevalent in teenagers in this day and age.
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