Intro to Human development and family studies :
book for this class is Life span development by L. Berk
Identify an adolescent male or female. Imagine that you are a worker in a youth program or a teacher in a classroom. You are meeting a new adolescent for the first time and want to learn about them and get a sense of where they are developmentally.
Interview the adolescent. Use the following questions as a starting point for your interview. Make sure that your interview questions cover all aspects of development in adolescence, including physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. You are also encouraged to ask questions about other domains that may be relevant to the adolescent, such as sexual or spiritual development.
Here is a sample list of questions. You are not limited to this list of questions:
How are things going at school?
What do you like about your school? What do you dislike? Do you think it’s a good place for teenagers like yourself to learn and grow? Why or why not?
What are your academic strengths? Where do you have difficulty?
Do you have a group of friends that you like? Do you ever feel pressure from your friends – either to excel or to do things you know you shouldn’t?
How do you feel about the other kids? Are there cliques in the school? How does that influence you or other kids?
Do you date yet? If yes, how is that going? If no, why not?
Do you use social media? What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it?
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of school? Do you play sports, participate in clubs, or have a job? What do you like about these things? What do you dislike?
How are things going with your family?
What are your relationships like with your parents? Are they different now that you are older, or are they the same? In what ways?
What are your relationships like with your siblings (if any)? Are they different now that you are older, or are they the same? In what ways
What do you like best about being a teenager? What do you like least? What do you think your biggest challenges are? Do you feel like you have the help you need to work through those challenges?
Take Notes: In taking notes during and after the interview, be sure to separate out facts about what the adolescent said or what you observed about the adolescent from your interpretation or analysis of those facts. This is an important skill for people working in helping fields. There are many ways to do this. One way is to divide your paper into two columns, with observations on one side and your interpretations or reactions on the other side.
Outline: Create an outline before you start writing your paper. Based on your knowledge of adolescent development and the teen’s interview responses, choose three main aspects of the adolescent’s development that were most relevant to write about in your paper.
Think about the following:
Has the adolescent completed puberty yet? Do you notice any connections between his/her physical development and experiences with friends or dating?
What did you learn about peer dynamics during adolescence? Does this adolescent have a best friend or a group of friends? Do these friends give the adolescent a sense of belonging? Do these peers encourage the adolescent toward positive behaviors or negative behaviors?
How does this adolescent use social media? Does that seem to be influencing their relationships, views of themselves, world view, or mental health?
What is the adolescent’s relationship like with his/her family? Is there conflict or closeness with parents? Do siblings serve as a source of comfort or a source of stress in the adolescent’s life? What contributes to this family dynamic?
Does the adolescent have a positive or negative orientation toward school? What influenced this orientation in his or her life?
Do you see examples of social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development interacting to influence the adolescent’s experiences and feelings? Why or why not?
In your outline, be sure to compare and contrast information from your interview with information from your text book and online lessons, so you are creating a nuanced profile of the adolescent’s development.
For either option that you choose, you will need to:
Compare what you learned through your interview with what you have learned in this course.
Write a paper describing your observations and their relationship with course material about adolescent development and emerging adulthood.
The intent of the engaged learning papers is to give you experience applying the theories and concepts that we discuss in this course to the real world.
Theories discussed in this course: Erik Erikson, Bronfenbrenner,Paul Baltes Lifespan,nature/nurture debate,piagets theory,james Marcia ,Jeffrey Barnett’s perspective of emerging adulthood,john gottmans research mahoneys research on marriage and religion
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