Cheryl Faye Gordon
B EDUC 456
Discusses some of the transformations of consciousness that occur in adolescence and examines how social structures, particularly formal schooling, help shape those transformations. Requires a community-based learning project.
This course will provide a foundation for understanding adolescents, human development, schools, society, and selves. It is focused on building a knowledge base from which curriculum, instruction, and assessment will be built.
The basic assumption underlying this course is that we are better situated to positively assist adolescents in their development when we (1) are aware of the complex contexts of schools and society, (2) consider adolescent development from multiple perspectives—including listening to the perspectives of adolescents, (3) question social myths and our own preconceived beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, and (4) develop sensitivity toward adolescents and the complexity of adolescence as part of human development.
Student learning goals
Identify multiple possibilities for explaining and understanding adolescents’ behavior.
Name and connect multiple influences on adolescents’ behavior (e.g., family values, peer pressure, institutional environment, social status, individual characteristics connected to race, ethnicity, culture, language, nationality, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ableness).
Examine and analyze assumptions that underlie beliefs, ideas, and values about adolescents and the transformation of consciousness.
Engage generously and critically in an evaluation of their own thoughts, beliefs, and values about adolescents in schools and society.
Skillfully interact positively with adolescents.
General method of instruction
This class will consist primarily of group discussions and activities. Mini-lectures will be provided to clarify course content.
Class assignments and grading
The assignments will consist of community based learning projects, class activities, and papers.
Course grades will be based on the assignments listed below. Strong work is indicated by careful analysis of texts, scholarly treatment of the issues and topics discussed, and thoughtful and substantial participation in class.