In the early history, philosophers had different views on the development of adolescences. According to Greece philosopher, Plato believed childhood years should spend their time on activities like sports and music. Plato thought that adolescence should be more involved in scientific subject; whereas Aristotle (another Greece philosopher) was straighter to the point. He was a scientist who examined all scientific aspects of nature. He felt like there was a scientific reason why adolescence development of self determination is similar to contemporary views. For example, in present times there are still comments made with stereotyping adolescence, such as “the younger generation think they know everything“. (W.Santrock) Adolescence is already put into a generalization gap.
By middle ages a (French philosopher) Jean Jacque Rousseau, offer another theory that Childhood and adolescence are not the same. He felt that feeding the curiosity of adolescence was a positive strategy. Rousseau felt that the age group fifteen through twenty was the more mature; they had a science of making rational decisions. But that was just speculations, because the scientific reasoning on the development of adolescence did not begin until the twentieth century. (W.Santrock)
Although adolescence can fall into the categories of both youth and maturity, it does not explain the biological, cognitive, and socioemotional process of adolescence. Adolescence is that part of one’s life, which he/she will never forget, because it plays a big role in the formation of who that person will become. Take in consideration that nature and nurture plays a big role in a child’s development.
It is quite normal for parents to think they know their children. In fact, what they know in most cases are their child’s external behavior. Anything which does not fit into society or the parent’s idea of a child’s character is liable to be classified as an unexpected reaction or conditioned behavior. However, to know adolescence, one must not judge them by their defects or virtues. (W.Santrock) Doing this could lead to the adolescence being classified by society in such a way that it would make it difficult for them to abandon this view. Knowledge of a person’s external behavior is a rather superficial kind of knowledge. It could lead people like parents, teachers, and other authority figures to think of adolescence in terms of what they do, rather than who they are.
It is not clear what criteria the older generations in present time follow when they want classify or describe our adolescence today. We are so caught up in our past and how things use to be, we lose focus on changes that occur in our society in these ages. Society expect adolescence to fit into a scheme of adult values without realizing that being an adult is quite different from being an adolescence. For example, the state of North Carolina says that adolescence can drop out of high school at the age of sixteen, but if that child commits certain crimes then the adult is held responsible. (Healthful living middle school energizers, 2006) According to North Carolina Department of Instruction, at a minimum our students need a high school diploma as a stepping stone to future success.” Currently, state law requires students to attend school between the ages of seven and sixteen, but the State Board of Education is seeking legislation to change the age requirement to eighteen. (Healthful living middle school energizers, 2006)
The message that is being sent by the laws is that an adolescent can make an adult decision to reject getting an education that will be needed in order to pursue a career, but not adult enough to deal with the consequences when doing unlawful things. Adolescence is a venerable and unstable time of adjustment which a child transcends into adulthood. (W.Santrock) The teaching on how to become a responsible adult starts in the home. A positive role module such as having a stabilized back ground with both parents, learning how to communicated ,and even learning how to exercise conflict resolution with siblings are some ways to help an adolescence how to deal with situation in the real world.
Achieving happiness and lifelong satisfaction does not happen until later adult years. Happiness is a state a mind that is not determined by one’s circumstances. (Sharon L. Hanna, 2008) Adolescence finds happiness in simple pleasures such as leisure activities like surfing the web. Whereas adult happiness seems to stem more from honor, career, and lifetime achievements.
In conclusion, times have changed tremendously. Early philosophers viewed adolescence in such a different manner from how adolescence is being viewed today. During the times of Plato, adolescence was viewed in a manner of how they “should be” verses who they “really are.” Now adolescence is being stereotyped by society; they are being generalized by their environmental defects.
(Healthful living middle school energizers, 2006) (Healthful living middle school energizers, 2006) (W.Santrock)References
N/A. (2006, July). Healthful living middle-school energizers. Retrieved from http://www.dpi.state.nc.us
Santrock, J. W. (2010). Adolescence. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Hanna, S., Suggett, R., & Radtke, D. (2008). Person to person, positive relationships don’t just happen. (5 ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.