Psychology 1230:
Psychology of
Adolescence
Don Hartmann
Fall 2005
Lecture 21: Schools
1
Administrative Announcements
• Autobiographical term paper due on
Monday, November 28th. Get
those abstract and references to
me pronto so that you can profit
from my feedback.
• Where are all the overdue WEB
summaries?
2
Discussion Topic #28
#28. The Changing Peer Group. Pith
Helmets IV. (Summary-Evaluation due on
Monday, November 28th). Illustrate by
means of example from your own
experience at least one of the changing
characteristics of children’s peer groups
between grade school and through
adolescence. How are the various peer
“confederations” thought to contribute to
child/adolescent development? Feel free
to comment on the commentary from other
contributors.
3
WEB Discussion Process
Group
Whippets
4♀+1♂
#3 due
10/27 (10/26)
10/28 (10/28)
#4 due
11/14**
11/18
JusticeLeague
PithHelmets
MAJACS
Psyched
11/15**
11/09 (11/09)
10/25 (10/25)
11/21
11/28
11/11**
GypsyMafia
10/24**
Disbanded
---------Note: Anyone can contribute to any WEB discussion; group members are
responsible to summarizing the discussion. The last day to contribute to any
discussion is 3 days before the due date. Dates in parenthesis indicate the
date handed in. Bolded dates indicate that material handed in was
incomplete; more is required.
**Where is the summary??
4
Handout Summary
Handout
WEB
Date
Date
• 39. Quiz 2 from Spring ’05
----• 40. Lect. #17: Autonomy
• 41. Handout: Supplemental Project #2
• 42. Handout: Supplemental Project #3
• 43. Lect. #17b: Family Conflict
• 44. Study Guide #10
• 45. Lect. #18: Peers
• 46. Lect. #19: Peers II: Pop. & Friendship
• 47. Lect. #20: Bullying
• 48. Study Guide #11 (corrected)
• 49. Lect. #21: Schools
• 50. Study Guide #12
10/31
11/07
11/04
11/07
11/08
11/08
11/10
11/11
11/17
11/21
11/21
11/21
5
Happy Thanksgiving from
Don & the folks at Sesame
Street
6
Overview: Schools
Briefly Over the following topics: School
Transitions; School Size; Class Size;
Tracking; Teacher Characteristics;
Student Gender; Peer Roles; Social Class;
& Ethnicity
Intersects with the text on pp. 393-94,
403-11.
Next: Lecture #22: Achievement
7
Supplementary
References
Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development. (1989).
Turning points: Preparing American youth for
the twenty-first century. New York: Carnegie
Foundation.
Simons, R. G., & Blyth, D. A. (1987). Moving into
adolescence. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine.
William T. Grant Foundation Commission on Work,
Family, and Citizenship. (1988, Feb.). The
forgotten half: Noncollege-bound youth in
America. New York: William T. Grant
Foundation.
8
9
School Transitions: I
• Schools are organized differently
– Some have junior (7-9th) and senior high
schools -- the purpose is to segregate early
adolescent from younger and older children.
– Others use the middle school (6-8th) concept.
– Still others have no transition school -- go
directly from grammar school to high school
10
School Transitions: II
Evidence: Simmons & Blyth in Milwaukee School District
– transition to junior high is a traumatic time for
pre-adolescents -- particularly for females who are going
through puberty
– Suggestions for educators:
• sensitivity to individual differences (IDs) in development
• more gradual transition
• address stress level of pre-adolescent
• Adopt 8-4 plan and perhaps dispose of -- in some sanitary
manner -- 9th graders (they aren't good for younger
students in 6-3-3 plans, and they have a hard time in 8-4
plans)
11
School Size
• Smaller schools have
– more prosocial behavior
– more responsive
– provide more opportunities for students
to participate in school activities
– develop sense of involvement, obligation,
school spirit/allegiance
12
Class Size, etc.
• Teachers prefer smaller classes
• Small advantage for smaller classes
– Particularly in early grades, low-achieving students, and
students from low SES backgrounds (Michael Rutter)
– Gene Glasses work on meta analysis (integrative review
of a literature: systematic analysis of study
outcomes)
• Teachers typically interact most with students in
the front and center positions
13
Tracking I
Tracking -- process of separating students into
different levels of classes
• Pros: course finely tuned to student needs
• CONS:
– Labeling: slow, stupid & according to self-fulfilling
prophecy, see self as failure
– Polarization of students into different subcultures:
advanced track feel superior; remedial track feel
resentment
– Discriminates against poor and minority students
• Conclusion: Cost of tracking outweighs benefits
14
Tracking II
• Solution
– Only track classes where absolutely
necessary (math, science)
– Don’t track when we are similar, such as
PE, shop, electronics, sex education
15
Teacher Characteristics I
• Good teachers
– produce a sense of industry in their students
(Erickson)
– Generate enthusiasm, have good planning
ability, are adaptable and aware
– authoritative teachers produce competent
students (Baumrind)
– BUT: critical fit required between teachers
and students
16
Teacher Characteristics II
More on Critical Fit
• Not all students respond optimally to the same
teacher or instructional characteristics. For
example:
– low-anxious students prefer informal classes, while
high-anxious students prefer formal classes;
– teachers who work with high-SES/ high-ability students
are more successful if they move rapidly;
– girls respond more favorably than boys to authoritarian
discipline.
• Teacher characteristics INTERACT with student
characteristics
17
What is an Interaction?
50
Student
Performance
When two variables (e.g., teacher
structuring & student anxiety)
"explain" outcome, but the
variables interact, we need to
know specific value of each
variable in order to account for
results. So knowing teachers'
structuring style, or knowing the
students' anxiety does not
explain results -- must know
specific value of both (e.g., that
high-structure teachers produce
good outcomes with anxious
students as do low-structure
teachers with confident students.
40
30
Anx. Stud
20
Conf. Stud
10
0
Low
High
Structure
Structure
Example of Interaction
18
Student Gender
• Female students:
– more easily influenced by teacher
expectations;
– both students and teachers attribute failure
of girls to lack of ability (Weiner is attribution
theorist)
• Male students:
– less influenced by teachers;
– attribute failure to lack of effort rather than
ability
19
Gender & Status:
Athletics
In secondary schools, the entire school is the social group
of reference, and peer bonds are strong.
• Boys are more likely to gain status as they represent the
entire school in athletic contests. While differential access
to athletics based on sex still is common, some boys suffer
from the pressure to play and to win.
• Girls: More limited access
– Inequities: dollars for male vs female athletic teams; press
coverage for men vs women
– Title 9: decreasing discrimination for federal educational
funds, 1972
20
21
Social Class
• Schools emphasize middle-class roles and experiences, and
neglect those of the lower class and minorities
– Schools in poor SES neighborhoods below par
• Teachers have expectations for students, based on the
social class of both.
– Teachers from a lower class background are more sensitive to
and more positive about lower class students.
• Lower SES Students:
– Fewer successful experiences in schools
– Greater differences between lower class kids
career aspirations and their career expectations
22
Ethnicity
• Segregation still a problem: .33 of Latino & Afro-American
students attend schools composed of 90% ethnic minorities
• 90% of teachers are non-Latino whites
• Desegration by busing has often resulted in resegregation
within the classroom by seating charts, ability grouping, and
tracking systems
• Improvement in race relations depends on
– classroom activities (e.g., Chicano/Black Awareness Week)
– the support of teachers and administrators (teacher as
cultural mediator)
– cooperative student projects (see Jigsaw classroom in your
search engine)
23
Summary of Schools
• School Transitions, School Size,
Class Size, Tracking, Teacher
Characteristics, Student Gender,
Peer Roles, Social Class, & Ethnicity
• Next: Lecture #22: Achievement
• Go in Peace
24
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Psychology 1230: Psychology of Adolescence