in this course, you examined biological, psychological, cognitive, and social perspectives of adolescent development. Adolescence is a transitional period between childhood and adulthood when dramatic

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in this course, you examined biological, psychological, cognitive, and social perspectives of adolescent development. Adolescence is a transitional period between childhood and adulthood when dramatic changes occur. Therefore, understanding the theories and research about adolescence is critical to support adolescent learners to thrive in the school environment.

Reflect on your experience in this course and the materials and assignments used to enhance your understanding of the adolescent experience. Name three concepts, theories, or ideas that enlightened you. Analyze how you will apply these concepts to a classroom environment. be sure to include practical examples in your work.


1. Erikson, E. H. (1970). Autobiographic notes on the identity crisis. Daedalus, 99 (4), 730-759.

  • In this document, Erik Erikson discusses the identity crisis that adolescents experience, which can impact their future development. Erikson proposed 8 psychosocial stages, where adolescence was seen as a time for identity exploration. Given that each stage has a psychosocial crisis such as identity vs. role confusion in adolescence (e.g., how do I see myself?), it is the duty of caregivers and other educators to assist young people in resolving their crises through healthy guidance. Please think about how you might address the psychosocial conflicts that arise among adolescents.

2. McLeod, S. (2008). Psychosexual stages. Simply Psychology.

  • This brief article is on Sigmund Freud’s Psychosexual theory. Please pay special attention to the genital stage and search for additional readings on the stage, as it is the stage of adolescence – the onset of puberty. As you read this text, consider how Freud’s thoughts on youth might help you to better understand the focus that adolescents place on understanding the opposite sex during puberty.
  • 3. Rosa, E.M., & Tudge, J. (2013). Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory of human development: Its evolution from ecology to bioecology. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 5, 243-258.
  • This article focuses on the evolution of Uri Bronfenbrenner’s theory from ecological to bioecological systems theory.

4. Vygotsky, L. (1978). The interaction between learning and development. In Vygotsky, L, Mind in Society. Harvard University Press.

  • Chapter 5 discusses Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, where he emphasized the influence of social interactions on cognitive development, such that both informal and formal learning within socio-cultural contexts influenced development. Also, Vygotsky believed that development drove a young person’s interests, learning and knowledge construction. Therefore, the relation between learning and development is considered to be bi-directional or mutually influential. Thus, caregivers and other educators are encouraged to facilitate and guide children’s learning and development through appropriate social means. Think About It: Do you prefer to provide direct instruction to youth or allow them to learn from their peers? Do you prefer rote learning and memorization to facilitating stimulating classroom discussions, where children have the freedom to express their thoughts and co-construct knowledge with others?

5.  Fischer, K. W.  (1980, November).  A theory of cognitive development: The control and construction of hierarchies of skills.  Psychological Review 87(6), 1-55.

  • This article looks at a theory of cognitive development known as skill theory where cognitive development is thought to be a series of skill structures known as levels.

6. Gardner, H., & Hatch, T. (1989, November). Multiple intelligences go to school: Educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences. Educational Researcher, 18 (8), pp. 4-10.–7B6gCt1x5GRPLTXeACtNWsqTbsa7RbqgXM9oS9mXURs1NjNI8BSdSccaSYmYj3QJJGfMpnA

  • Howard Gardner’s theory on multiple intelligences is important to take note of, as he identifies and discusses the many ways in which educators should promote students’ talents, which might fall outside of the realm of academia. It is important as educators to ensure that all students feel good about their abilities, as it takes cognitive strength to engage in many tasks, in and outside of the classroom environment. For instance, a basketball player must understand his/her body, how s/he moves, and various different strategies for scoring points against opponents and winning games. Everyone is not going to be a successful basketball player just like everyone is not going to be a successful scholar in academia, but some individuals will be successful in these arenas. Therefore, we should encourage students’ varied interests, so they feel confident in their level of intelligence.

7. John-Steiner, V., & Mahn, H. (2012. December). Sociocultural approaches to learning and development: A Vygotskian Framework. Educational Psychologist, 31(3/4), 191-206.

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