What I know about child and adolescent development comes mostly from my own life and parenting my three children. I did take a child development course in college and the book I remember reading is “A Place Called School” by John Goodlad. I distinctly recall his perspective on adolescents and their relationship with school. He talked about the idea that school is not really a place of learning for the students, it is secondary. School is primarily the place for socialization and relationships. Even though I would describe myself as a good student and enjoyed learning in school, I must be honest and say a good amount of my time was taken up with the drama of friendships and boyfriends. Currently my knowledge of child and adolescent development comes from parenting my own children. I have a 16 year old son, a 14 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. They each have their own pre-occupations, attitudes and personality. I have enjoyed watching them grow and change and how living in a different culture from their passport culture has had an affect on education in their lives.
Goodlad’s conclusions as well as my own relationships with my children have influenced my philosophy of instruction. I realize that the students have many other things on their mind. It may be social relationships in school or it may be even a difficult family life. I think it is important to engage my students on these levels of what is important to them or what they are talking about between each other. I acknowledge that there is a place for these things and that they are important. But I also stress that there needs to be balance in life and there is a time and place for all of these things. I have even mentioned this in my class time as we prepare for our lesson for that day.
I hope to learn more about child and adolescent development as I think it will help me in my relationships with students and better inform my instruction.