Course Outline for Understanding Adolescents Minds

Week 1

Lesson 1- Introduction

In our first lesson, I'll explain the term adolescent development and familiarize you with some terminology. I'll also provide you with an overview of the three main stages of adolescence to help you become familiar with the tasks and milestones inherent in each stage.

Lesson 2- Biological Development

Adolescence is a time of change. These changes occur on the outside as well as on the inside. For this lesson, we’re going to focus on some external changes, and one of the things we'll look at is puberty, the impact it can have on the adolescent, as well as how these changes can affect how you treat an adolescent.

Week 2

Lesson 3- Cognitive Development

In this lesson, we'll start looking at some of the internal changes kids experience during adolescence. As children's bodies take huge leaps forward, so do their brains as they learn and discover new ways of thinking and reasoning. This is cognitive development, which means how someone thinks, and that'll be our focus for this lesson.

Lesson 4- Social Development I

The dreaded peer group. During today's lesson, we’ll take a close look at socialization, peers and peer groups, friends, intimacy, and social changes in your adolescent's behavior.

Week 3

Lesson 5- Social Development II

One of the things that changes most during adolescence is a child's family relationships and how family members interact with each other. In this lesson, we'll take a look at some of those changes and the impact this may have on both the adolescent and the family.

Lesson 6- Emotional Development

Emotional development is one of the internal changes that evolves during adolescence. During today's lesson we’ll take a look at some aspects of emotions and their development, and the significance this may have for adolescent development.

Week 4

Lesson 7- Identity and Self-Concept

This is the “Who Am I?” lesson. Today, we'll explore how we think about ourselves, how our identity develops, what might influence our identity, and our self-concept.

Lesson 8- Moral Development and Faith

Today's lesson is all about moral development and faith separate from religion. We'll look at how the changes to the adolescent play a role in their moral development. You'll become familiar with the overall thoughts, ideas and processes that seem common to adolescent moral development.

Week 5

Lesson 9- Stress

In this lesson, we're going to take a close look at stress, anxiety, frustration, and defense mechanisms. We'll explore how these things affect all of us and how some of this is demonstrated during adolescence.

Lesson 10- Influences on Development

For this lesson, we'll adopt a slightly different format. Today, we'll look at four separate things: nature versus nurture, temperament, personality, and resiliency. The main thread carried throughout this lesson is how a better understanding of ourselves can help us to better understand others.

Week 6

Lesson 11- Adolescent Needs

Similar to the last lesson, today we'll look at a few more distinct topics. First we'll review some of the adolescent needs that we've discussed prior to this lesson, then we'll discuss chronic illness, gay and lesbian youth and the issues these individuals may be faced with, and finally a chapter highlighting parenting the adolescent.

Lesson 12- When Something Goes Wrong

For our last lesson, we're going to stray from the normal to the abnormal part of adolescent development. The focus of this lesson will be a brief overview of disorders or conditions that are consistently viewed within the adolescent population.

What do others think?

‘I am really glad I took this course. After studying secondary education in college, I was amazed that a course like this was not required of all future teachers of adolescents. The psychological changes that these young adults go through really do impact their interaction and everyday emotions while in high school. It would help every teacher of young adults to know just what is going on inside their minds and bodies.’

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