Adolescent Development and Implications for Teaching Practice

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Introduction

This report entails a discussion and analysis on adolescent development and its implications on teaching. Various phases of adolescent development and effective research method to study adolescent development have been portrayed in this paper. The approaches that should be undertaken by teachers in dealing with adolescents such that there is successful knowledge development are also an important part of the discussion. The paper evaluates various kinds of adolescent behaviors and the prudent teaching methodologies to cope up with them so that productive intervention and education is facilitated.

Discussion

Developmental milestones that occur during adolescence: 
The adolescence is the time of transition from puberty to adulthood. The stages of development can be divided into three stages like early, middle and late adolescence. During these stages the children faces physical development and cognitive development. The psychological development is also very common during this stage. The transition period is very crucial and the youngsters have to be given proper care so that they can develop in the right and desired manner. The different developments have been discussed below: 
Physical development:
The biological change as observed in adolescence is referred to as puberty. The physiological changes in the adolescence get completed by the time they reach their mid-adolescence. Their heights and weights develop and they become physically capable of handling some adult activities and works. During this time the females and males become capable of reproducing. In boys the development of their genital organ including the development of their testicles is common at this stage. The bodies of the boys get larger and they also grow in height. Their body weight increases and they develop hair in many parts of the body like under the arms and on their cheeks and chins. Their bodies become stronger and tougher. They become capable of doing heavy tasks. In some cases the development of breasts is also found to take place in some boys which eventually stops by the end of their puberty. The masculinity of the body becomes visibly noticed. The voices of the boys undergo changes and become husky which ultimately becomes manly as they reach their adulthood (American Academy of Pedriatrics , 2018). 
The girls face the developments of their breasts followed by the development of pubic hair. The hips of the girls get broaden and they start gaining weights along with the growth in their height. They also start gaining some fat more than the boys of their age. The breast development takes place in different stages and ultimately they become well-shaped and larger. The girls also develop body hair under their arms and facial hairs are also common in some girls. The facial hair is common but it varies from one girl to another because of hormonal changes. Menstruation is one of the common signs of girls in transition to adolescence to adulthood. The muscles of the girls are not that stronger like the boys (MILLER, 2017). 
Cognitive development:
In adolescence the individuals face many experiences to which their brains start responding. They develop demands for something. The cognitive development takes place at fast pace. The individuals become more egocentric. They start to think on different aspects and they become more reasonable and try to use logic behind any thought. They also become capable of thinking hypothetically. They can now make decisions on which they want to rely. They can solve many problems and they can use systematic approaches and logical methodologies. With everyday experiences they develop knowledge and apply them in real-time. They learn about cause and effect behind any event or situation. They can relate choices and actions with their responsibilities as they develop the sense of being responsible (Forehand, n.d.). 
Psychological development:
The psychological changes also take place during the period of adolescence. Most of the boys and girls at this stage perceive any situation or event to be either right or wrong. They either feel something to be awesome or feel awful. They do not possess the capacity to thing for the long-term impacts of any doing or activity. They become of capable of solving issues and problems of complex nature. The adolescents become more mature and start understanding different aspects of life. They try to appreciate their own-selves and they become self-conscious in many cases. They become emotionally strong and they start doing self-assessment. They even become capable of setting goals of life. They develop their own choices and preferences. The time they approach closer to 18 years of age they become more concerned about their status and position in the society (Lewis, 2018).
Description and evaluation of one research approach to study adolescent development: 
In order to study adolescent development, one of the most effective research approaches that might be implemented is the multidisciplinary methodology. This form of research technique is based on the gathering of information from various academic disciplines in order to identify a research problem that is beyond the premises of normal research topics and offer solutions to the problem based on the newly formed knowledge and information of the complex situation. The multidisciplinary research studies are conducted for the purpose of gathering the real knowledge and information on various specialized disciplines of learning those are directed towards the achievement of some common objectives through knowledge gathered from some other disciplines. In this form of research, an investigation is conducted to ascertain a problem so that a research hypothesis can be effectively formed through an aggregation of several literature and academic sources, disciplines and methodologies. It can also be referred to as a systematic or objective method of knowledge gathered for the purpose of identification of an original contributor to the already existing knowledge on the research subject. This form of research methodology is used to ascertain problems related to the current situation and the intent is to solve them. The multidisciplinary form of research is considered to be a policy-oriented or an action-oriented research methodology that can be used to gather valuable knowledge on various social, cultural, economic or political issues (Drishti, 2015).
For the purpose of studying the adolescent development and the various implications of the phase in the physical, cognitive and psychological development of the individual, the multidisciplinary research approach can be undertaken. The advantage of using this form of research in studying adolescent behavior is that this research process consults the various existing knowledge on several disciplines to combine the knowledge on the chosen area of the research. Hence, the study of adolescent development and its influence on the teaching practices is conducted by gathering knowledge from various disciplines such as social, cultural, political and economic to form a coherent technique that facilitates effective knowledge gathering on the domain of the various changes of the mind and body those are faced by the individuals those are maturing from children into adolescents. In successful knowledge creation on the problem, the multidisciplinary research approach offers an action-oriented and applied research methodology that helps in the approaching the research topic not from one but several directions that results in the formulation of comprehensive results those can be considered as more credible and authentic as compared to the data gathered by implementing some other forms of research approaches those consider the problem from only a single discipline or perspective. Hence, it can be said that it is essential for the teachers to understand the various physical, psychological and cognitive changes those are common in adolescents and while teaching they should be aware of those factors such that they do not harm the normal developmental process of the adolescent students. Multidisciplinary research will be helpful for the teachers to gather valuable insights on the adolescent development and the ways in which effective teaching is to be facilitated to them (The University of Melbourne, 2017).
In the context of the adolescent education it is important for the teacher to be aware of the various implications of teaching that he or she might have to face while they are teaching the adolescent students. There can be various issues of lack of concentration, discipline, rude behavior, humiliation, etc. those might be faced by the teacher as in the adolescent phase, many of the individuals become arrogant and bully due to the various physiological and psychological changes. The teacher should not be perturbed in such situations and should demonstrate empathy, understanding and warm approach in dealing with these students at first. It has been often been observed that care and empathy has succeeded in turning notorious adolescents into decent individuals with time and proper intervention (Linsin, 2009).

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Implications of adolescent development for teaching practice

The adolescence is considered to be one of the most sensitive stages of life when the parental care and concern and education become most vital. The adolescents develop their own choices as they shift from early stage to late adolescent stage. The family members and friends play vital role in shaping the life of the adolescents. The education centre and the teachers also play an essential role in the life of the adolescents. They play the role of a mentor. The teachers have to be responsive to the different changes in the development stages of life. Being a teacher I have experienced different situations dealing with adolescents. I could say that for any teacher it is very important the different development changes and stages of adolescents. The teachers have to be sensitive and responsive to the changes in cognitive and psychological factors. The adolescence development stages and changes impact the development of teaching practices.
As a teacher I have always seen that at the stage of adolescence the children become more vulnerable to harmful consequences if they are being treated badly or harshly. They need empathy of the teachers. They could be explained where they are wrong with examples rather than scolding or punishing them. The strictness in the behavior of the teachers can produce absolute opposite results. The adolescents are very delicate from their mind. They develop ego and emotional strength. They should be treated either like a child or an adult. They are in the transition period and hence the teachers have to be more cordial and make them understand where they are wrong or right with patience. They can be given challenging situations where they get opportunities to present themselves in the way they are expected to. The teachers should also encourage them as the adolescents out of rejection or failure could take any drastic step in life. The education system should be empathetic. The teachers should make them understand the importance of learning and gaining knowledge.
The teachers should not indulge in diversity in the class room or learning zone. The teachers should understand that the adolescents are developing their thought process and they must be explained the good or bad of the social stigmas. I have come across several cases where I have notices in real-time that there is a difference in thought process of a girl and boy adolescent. I think it is better to consider the gender and must be sensitive to this aspect. The boys and girls both need exposure and opportunities for their development in personal and student life. I as a teacher must provide them with the resources which can help to grow as a responsible educated and good human being. I have seen that cognitive and psychological changes and development of the adolescents impact the teaching practices. The learning can be effective if the relationship between the adolescent students and teachers is cordial and good enough. The relationship really matters to great extent. The students must be able to share their issues or problems in the learning sphere with the teachers without any fear of being scolded or humiliated. I have seen many teachers to have bullied any student for his or her doing and that in turn impacting their emotional balance. The students must have trust and faith in teachers which must be developed by the efforts of the teachers only. This is very wrong approach. Being a teach I could say that the adolescent are needed to be handled with much care, concern and cooperation and to facilitate the learning in an effective way (Gregory & Ripski, 2017).

Conclusion 

In conclusion, it can be said that offering teaching services to adolescent students is a challenging task for the teachers. This is because, at this stage of life, a person grows from childhood to adolescence and there are arrays of bodily and emotional changes those occur to the students. This often makes many of the students become rude, undisciplined and inconsiderate. They might not pay attention to the teacher or might abuse or humiliate them. At this stage, the teacher should not react in the same way and start abusing the student back. Rather, there should be restraint undertaken and empathy shown towards these adolescents in an effort to make them feel closer to the teacher. The teacher should be perceived as a person who can relate to their situations and guide them effectively. There can also be a different scenario in the adolescent phase where some of the students might demonstrate uncanny silence, lack of participation and interest which can also be difficult for the teacher to deal with. Here also, the teacher should implement empathy and care to deal with these adolescents. One key finding from the study is the role of effective research methods in determining the various ways in which adolescent teaching should be conducted. The role of multidisciplinary research has been instrumental in the development of this knowledge among the teacher.

References

American Academy of Pedriatrics . (2018). Stages of Adolescence. Retrieved from healthychildren: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/Pages/Stages-of-Adolescence.aspx
Drishti. (2015). Multidisciplinary Research. Retrieved from lawctopus: https://www.lawctopus.com/academike/multidisciplinary-research/
Forehand, T. (n.d.). Cognitive Development in Adolescence. Retrieved from lovetoknow: http://teens.lovetoknow.com/Cognitive_Development_in_Adolescence
Gregory, A., & Ripski, M. B. (2017). Adolescent Trust in Teachers: Implications for Behavior in the High School Classroom. School Psychology Review > Volume 37, Issue 3 , 337-353.
Lewis, J. (2018). The Physiological and Psychological Development of the Adolescent. Retrieved from yale: http://teachersinstitute.yale.edu/curriculum/units/1991/5/91.05.07.x.html
Linsin, M. (2009). How To Handle Disrespectful Students. Retrieved from smartclassroommanagement: https://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2009/07/31/how-to-handle-disrespectful-students/
MILLER, C. (2017, June 13). Physical Development in Adolescence. Retrieved from livestrong: https://www.livestrong.com/article/112085-physical-development-adolescence/
The University of Melbourne. (2017). Educating the Australian Adolescent. Retrieved from unimelb: https://education.unimelb.edu.au/news_and_activities/projects/archived_projects/educating_the_australian_adolecent

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