For this activity, I chose to interview a teacher who was teaching children aged between 13 and 18 years of age. The respondent was a professional aged 41 years of age from my community. In the selected school environment, I was in a position to observe a number of children engaging in a wide range of playing and learning activities. I was keen to monitor how they interacted with each other and pursued their social goals. The teacher was willing to provide additional insights about physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive development during middle to late childhood.
In adolescence, a child’s body changes very fast, with most of the transformations being easily identifiable. Such an individual may experience growth spurts, sexual maturity, and expansion of body organs. During this phase, teachers need to be involved and provide the relevant guidance to empower these individuals. In the class setting, educationists need to monitor children’s psychological developments and ensure that they are linked to their cognitive abilities (Santrock, 2019). These individuals begin to express themselves more effectively and courageously. Some of the teenagers might suffer huge influences from peer groups. As an important stage of development, adolescents usually experience rapid psychosocial, emotional, physical, and even cognitive growth. The findings obtained from the interviewee’s responses are described in the section presented below.
Me: What physical development changes are associated with middle-late childhood?
Interviewee: After attaining the age of 12, most of the children will experience rapid physical changes. Most of these transformations are related to improving motor skills and muscle strength. Such individuals will experience increased stamina and be in a position to complete a wide range of tasks and movements. Some of these children will become more playful and willing to take risks in their lives (Santrock, 2019). During this phase of growth, most of the children will become aware of such changes as the chances of getting into puberty increase. According to my understanding, some of the teenagers would attain adult height, develop acne, have body odor, and grow more hair in the body.
Me: What cognitive growth is associated with adolescents?
Interviewee: From my experience as a teacher, I have realized that cognitive development is a noticeable milestone during adolescence. Most of the individuals will develop something known as formal operational ability. This means that the growing children will begin to think logically and hypothetically. They will engage in analytical processes and new consider ways to pursue practical or realistic goals. Their motor skills expand so they can engage in additional physical exercises (Bidzan-Bluma & Lipowska, 2018). They will become more aware of their languages and communication processes. Learners in the middle to late childhood will explore more areas and be able to examine things and occurrences more figuratively. The emerging complex thinking abilities allows the learners to create new ideas or consider divergent views from various sources.
Me: What psycho-emotional problems are associated with this age group?
Interviewee: While adolescence is a period of heightened physical and social development, emotional forces could affect these young individuals’ overall experiences and outcomes. From my experience as a teacher, I have realized that most people under the selected age bracket would become stressed once their bodies begin to change. For example, most of the girls who lack proper guidance would tend to suffer prolonged depression after the appearance of their menstrual cycles (Bidzan-Bluma & Lipowska, 2018). For boys, the growth of pubic hair could start to affect their emotions and feelings (Santrock, 2019). During this phase, some mental illnesses could emerge that might trigger numerous challenges, such as mood changes, attention deficiency, and prolonged anxiety (Santrock, 2019). Some individuals could exhibit behavioral problems or be unable to cope with others. During the phase, such internalizing disorders could emerge and affect the overall experiences and development of the affected children. Some of them include truancy, learning difficulties, cases of aggression, and delinquency. Some individuals could become hyperactive or develop eating disorders depending on their challenges.
Me: What health and/or problems are associated with physical changes during middle-late childhood?
Interviewee: Adolescence forms a unique age group that all professionals in the learning environment should examine from different perspectives. For the many years I have worked as a teacher, I have observed that some behavioral disorders tend to emerge as the individuals continue to grow. For example, I have handled cases of discrimination and abuse in the class setting, whereby some molest others (Bidzan-Bluma & Lipowska, 2018). Those with developmental disabilities and poor motor skills tend to face discrimination more often. In some cases, the adolescents might become obese due to their increasing appetite and the need to experiment with different food materials. Adolescents would report several cases of dental caries due to poor dental hygiene. Unintentional injuries would be common since members of the age group tend to be risk and energetic (Bidzan-Bluma & Lipowska, 2018). Teenage pregnancies tend to affect more individuals during middle-late childhood. These problems explain why teachers need to liaise with parents and provide timely guidelines to ensure that such individuals achieve most of their age-specific goals in life.
Me: What cognitive theory do you associate with the most and how is it applicable in the learning environment?
Interviewee: While a number of theoretical frameworks exist that explain the manner in which human cognitive development takes place, I usually tend to focus on Jean Piaget’s model. This great thinker presented unique indicators that could be utilized to study and analyze cognitive development during childhood. For instance, Piaget’s theory identifies formal operations as a unique feature of cognitive development during adolescence (Babakr et al., 2019). The model also identifies the hypothetic-deductive approach to reasoning to explain how members of this age group become more logical and scientific. Propositional thought is also notable, whereby individuals can determine a logical statement based only on the words used.
The concept of imaginary audience emerges whereby these individuals believe that society views them as objects for evaluation. The personal fable emerges since adolescents view themselves as unique and incapable of suffering from the world’s problems (Babakr et al., 2019). With a proper understanding of this framework, it becomes possible to apply the theory in the classroom to provide instructions ((Babakr et al., 2019). The framework also helps present additional guidelines for empowering the targeted children and ensuring that they become responsible, more informed, and hardworking members of the society (Bidzan-Bluma & Lipowska, 2018). Although Piaget’s theory might have some drawbacks, it remains informative and capable of guiding more professionals to meet the demands of the targeted adolescents.
Me: What support systems or facilities are available to learners during middle-late childhood?
Interviewee: Adolescence is an important age since most of the people in such a stage would be found in the learning environment. The teacher has a duty to be involved in the development of such a child and ensure that he or she records the much needed development (Bidzan-Bluma & Lipowska, 2018). Instructions appropriate for these individuals need to be personalized and developed in such a way that they can support the learning process (Santrock, 2019). Personally, I do not think that learning environments need to be complicated. Instead, educationists need to consider the need to introduce computers and other devices that can increase the rate at which they acquire new instructions. The involved teacher needs to remain supportive and guide the learners whenever in the learning environment.
On top of these considerations, I believe that teachers need to keep the environment orderly and accessible. While providing the needed instructions, it is appropriate to keep the students engaged and allow them to express themselves fully ((Babakr et al., 2019). The professionals should identify challenges and celebrate these adolescents depending on their breakthroughs and achievements. A code would also be appropriate to minimize cases of bullying while allowing the beneficiaries to focus on their goals (Bidzan-Bluma & Lipowska, 2018). They should further promote support systems and groups to ensure that their earners become more confident despite the rapid changes in their bodies. The teacher will need to remain calm while maintaining the needed control of the classroom.
Me: Why is the understanding of the physical, emotional, psychosocial, and cognitive development issues important to you as a teacher?
Interviewee: As a teacher, I believe that it is appropriate to have a proper understanding of the physical, emotional, and cognitive development issues. This knowledge would help me identify some of the weaknesses and challenges that could require additional attention. This understanding is necessary since not all learners would record similar milestones. Some might grow faster than others in terms of physical and cognitive development (Bidzan-Bluma & Lipowska, 2018). A proper understanding of these issues can make it easier to provide personalized support and identify when to engage other professionals (Santrock, 2019). The ultimate aim is to ensure that the presented instructions resonate with the beneficiaries’ cognitive, emotional, and physical abilities (Bidzan-Bluma & Lipowska, 2018). These insights also help professionals know when to provide additional support or prevent cases of bullying. The consideration will help more learners achieve their maximum gains and transition to other stages of development without challenges.
Adolescence is a critical stage of human development. Parents and teachers must be aware of most of the social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and psychological attributes during this phase. This understanding can help teachers provide the best instructions and address some of the health problems that could arise. The provision o personalized instructions and development of desirable environments could make it possible for these individuals to transition more efficiently to other subsequent stages of growth. The completed interview was successful and helped shed more light on the developmental issues and milestones affecting adolescents. The information is also inspirational and capable of empowering both parents and teachers to offer personalized support to the targeted individuals.
Babakr, Z. H., Mohamedamin, P., & Kakamad, K. (2019). Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory: Critical review. Education Quarterly Reviews, 2(3), 517-524. Web.
Bidzan-Bluma, I., & Lipowska, M. (2018). Physical activity and cognitive functioning of children: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(4), 800-812. Web.
Santrock, J. W. (2019). Children (14th ed.). McGraw Hill Publishers.