Chapter 1 355.docx - Chapter 1 Introduction THE HISTORICAL...

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Chapter 1- Introduction THE HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE Early history In early Greece, the philosophers Plato and Aristotle both commented about the nature of youth. According to Plato (fourth century B.C.) o Reasoning doesn’t belong to childhood but rather first appears in adolescence He thought that children should spend their time in sports and music, whereas adolescents should study science and mathematics Aristotle (fourth century B.C.) argued: o The most important aspect of adolescence is the ability to choose, and that self- determination is a hallmark of maturity o Self-determination is not unlike some contemporary views that see independence, identity, and career choice as the key themes of adolescence. o He recognized adolescents’ egocentrism, commenting once that adolescents think they know everything and are quite sure about it In the middle ages, children and adolescence were viewed as miniature adults and were subjected to harsh discipline In the eighteenth-century Jean-Jacques Rasousseau offered a more enlightened view of adolescence o Restoring the belief that being a child or an adolescent is not the same as being an adult. o He too thought that reasoning developed in adolescence like Plato. o Curiosity should especially be encouraged in the education of 12 to 15-year-olds. o He argued that, from 15 to 20 years of age, individuals mature emotionally, and their selfishness is replaced by an interest in others o Thus, he concluded that development has distinct phases The Twentieth and twenty-first centuries The concept of adolescence began at the end of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century G. Stanley Hall’s Storm-and-Stress View (1844-1924) pioneered the scientific study of adolescence in 1904, he published his ideas in two-volume set: adolescence he was strongly influence by Charles Darwin Hall proposed that development is controlled primarily by biological factors The storm-and-stress view – concept that adolescence is a turbulent time charged with conflict and mood swings His view-adolescents’ thoughts, feelings, and actions oscillate between conceit and humility, good intentions and temptation, happiness and sadness. An adolescent might be nasty to a peer one moment and kind the next moment; in need of privacy but seconds later want companionship Margaret Mead’s Sociocultural View of Adolescence Anthropologist Mead (1928) studied adolescents on the South Sea island of Samoa.
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She concluded that the basic nature of adolescence is not biological, as Hall envisioned, but rather sociocultural. Mead concluded that: o cultures that allow adolescents to observe sexual relations, see babies born, regard death as natural, do important work, engage in sex play, and know clearly what their adult roles will be tend to promote a relatively stress-free adolescence criticism- states that Samoan adolescence is more stressful than Mead suggested and
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