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Adolescent Development & Teaching- Assignment 2 notes

Intervention: REAL GIRLS

The Real Girls program supports young girls in Year 7 as they make the transition from primary
school to high school. It provides the opportunity for girls to explore issues of value, meaning and
purpose and addresses healthy relationship and lifestyle matters. The program aims to grow
participants’ self awareness and confidence, strengthening friendships and educational engagement
so that social isolation and risk taking behaviors are minimized.

Social disadvantages according to vignette:

- She has difficulties with peers her own age

- hangs out with older students (who have been reprimanded for substance abuse)
- Supportive background-however they are from NESB
- Struggling financially
- Doesn’t share personal information/withdrawn – EMOTIONAL- lacking social competence


As peer groups change as children enter high school, adolescents are given the opportunity to create
new friendships. Close friendships during adolescence are extremely important, especially
psychologically, where intimacy and similarity are key features. Hartup (1996) reviewed evidence
which shows that adolescents initially associate with peers who resemble themselves in terms of
behaviour, interests, and attitudes, and subsequently reinforce in each other those characteristics
that brought them together in the first place. Friendships during adolescence offer companionships
through, shared activities, information, guidance, advice, instrumental support and esteem support.
Due to the fact that Kayla is an early maturing adolescent, she is having trouble developing
sustainable friendships within her own peer group, and she is engaging with older students who
participate in increasingly problematic behaviour- such as substance use. This has the potential to
influence Kayla’s behaviour and attitudes towards school.

Kayla says that she wants to go to university for creative arts, so it is obvious that she has long-term
goals to achieve, however, she just needs assistance to help her become successful. The Fusion
Organisation offers a program that supports young girls in year 7, like Kayla, called Real Girls. Real
Girls provides the opportunity for young girls, to explore issues of value, meaning and purpose and
addresses healthy relationship and lifestyle matters. In this regard, the program can educate Kayla
on what it means to have healthy relationships and also inform her of the consequences of either;
being caught with illicit drugs or taking illicit drugs. The program also aims to grow participants self-
awareness and confidence, strengthening friendships and education engagement so that social
isolation and risk-taking behaviours are minimised. What this means for Kayla, is that because she is
withdrawn and does not participate in class, she will be given the opportunity to develop her
confidence and start to believe in her own capabilities, through different esteem and confidence
boosting activities. She will also begin to create new and positive friendships with girls her own age,
where she may develop positive learning goals or efficient coping skills that can contribute to her
academic achievement by observing her new friends characteristics. Friends who display a high level
of school engagement may also have positive attitudes about school and may provide other students
with positive targets for social comparison and encouragement to adopt higher behavioral standards
that translate into higher levels of academic achievement (Bandura, 1989; Wentzel, 2005). If we
assume that Kayla is enjoying the program, it can be expected that her educational engagement and
confidence levels will increase overtime.
However, the program does have some limitations and challenges, for instance:

- Actually getting Kayla to participate in the program, she might feel targeted and
uncomfortable considering her situation.
- She may not develop any positive friendships, which could correlate to increased
problematic behaviour.
- Our findings suggest that school-based policies that encourage the aggregation of antisocial
students in special classrooms or in behavioral intervention programs is problematic not
only because it appears to contribute to escalating patterns of problem behavior
- also because it might precipitate school failure. Revising school policies, for example by
guiding these adolescents toward adult-supervised extracurricular activities with well
adjusted peers, could help prevent school failure.

Personal Reflection:

Upon undertaking the unit we discussed different theorists, one that stood out to me was Laurence
Steinberg who has suggested the notion of Cold Cognition (low arousal contexts such as participating
in problem solving) or Hot Cognition (High arousal). It has been proved the behaviour of teenagers
depends on hot or cold cognitions. As a pre-service teacher, I would minimise their arousal by
rearranging seating plans, so students are less inclined to partake in problematic behaviour with
their friends, this is an example of a cold cognition environment.

Extraneous load is the wasteful load- which is caused by poor instruction, by understanding this
concept, as a future educator, I will minimise wasteful load when teaching high intrinsic material, for
instance, reducing sources of information if necessary, and giving appropriate tasks to learners that
are at different levels. This is relevant across all KLAs, for example, if I was taking a modern history
class and was using documents to showcase political reforms in Britain following the Industrial
Revolution, I would ask students to read the reforms, then allow for a group discussion where
students can share their ideas, which is inclusive of everyone and it still reduces the load, rather
than, supplying the documents and answering questions, whilst expecting students at different
levels to complete these tasks.

In addition, the GRIP method is a method that is used to support student’s well-being and safety,
and it can also be used to support troubled students. It gives teachers the platform to attain
information as well as respond to the needs of students, and decide whether they need to liaison
with other professionals, such as counsellors, or inform parents/caregivers about their concerns. To
further enable students safety and well-being it is important to promote a positive school
environment, which is understanding of diverse cultures, and provides constructive and positive
feedback, and in summary, the GRIP method encourages such practices.
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Giedd, J. (2015). The amazing teenage brain. Scientific American 312(6), 32- 37.

Ted Noffs Organisation (n.d.). Street Art Workshops. Retrieved April 26, 2017, from Workshop

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Vink, M., Derks, J. M., Hoogendam, J. M., Hillegers, M. & Kahn, R. S. (2014). Functional differences in emotion processing during adolescence and early

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Thompson, I., & Tawell, A. (2017). Becoming other: social and emotional development through the creative arts for young people with behavioural difficulties.
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