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date: 22 October 2021

Alternative Conceptions of Adolescence as a Basis for Curriculumlocked

Alternative Conceptions of Adolescence as a Basis for Curriculumlocked

  • Nancy Lesko, Nancy LeskoTeachers College, Columbia University
  • Jacqueline SimmonsJacqueline SimmonsTeachers College, Columbia University
  •  and Jamie UvaJamie UvaTeachers College, Columbia University

Summary

Adolescence has been defined as a unique stage of development, and youth are marked and understood by their differences from adults and children. This perceived border between youth and adults also influences curriculum development, since knowledge for youth is often determined by their current developmental stage and/or what they need to know and be able to do when they are adults. Thus, curricular knowledge often participates in keeping youth “less than” adults. When we start with a conception of youth that emphasizes their competence or power, curricular options open. If we recognize that youth can take on political organizing or use social media in more sophisticated ways than adults, schools’ tight management of youth appears overzealous and miseducative. To rethink conceptions of youth, educators must confront the power differentials built into and maintained by school curricular knowledge.

Subjects

  • Curriculum and Pedagogy

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