Essays articles education problems modern youth | …

Acknowledgement: this article draws on some material from an earlier review of developments in the sociology of youth (Jeffs and Smith 1998) edited by Michael Haralambos.

Essays articles education problems modern youth - …

essays articles education problems modern youth - …

Essays modern education youth problems

This 9 page paper reviews 4 articles supplied by the student assessing the problems faced by poor nations when trying to undertake economic development looking at issues such as the resource curse, the problem of democracy, the lack of development where education levels have increased and the problem of geography. The paper ends with a discussion on the articles. The bibliography cites 4 sources.

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New funding mechanisms have eroded many of the historic characteristics of the work, in particular the need for continuity, the educational base and autonomy. Paradoxically this has meant workers recognizing the extent to which these funding mechanisms have provided a lifeline at a time when young people are losing interest in clubs and centres, while at the same time bemoaning the need to respond to the demands imposed by the new funders. The reason for the fall in numbers is not simply demographic, it reflects fundamental changes in the opportunities for leisure; in particular the expansion of home entertainment and the development of the commercial sector (Jeffs and Smith 1990a; Smith 1991). However, the decline also reflects something more – the very basis for youth work, the concept of ‘youth’, is slipping away.

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Historically the first two characteristics of youth work have been seen as problematic. A great deal of the literature has focused on debates around these. The third, a concentration on the needs and experiences of a specific group, has not been systematically questioned apart from discussions around the most appropriate age at which intervention should commence and end. However, we argue it is increasingly difficult to approach ‘youth’ as a meaningful way of categorizing a set of experiences or qualities. It is now the very concept of youth that poses some fundamental questions. Inevitably this raises the possibility that if something called ‘youth work’ appeared at a particular historical moment – so it may wither away at another. That is what we may well be witnessing at the moment.

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There are major problems in attempting to define adolescence in relation to traditional developmental criteria. With regard to youth and physical development then the key moments appear to be pre-teen or early teen (and then they are significant only for a small minority of people) (see, for example, Coleman and Hendry 1990). With respect to emotional development, age is no particular predictor of ‘storm and stress’. ‘The great majority of young people seem to cope well and to show no undue signs of turmoil and stress’ (ibid.: 201). Classically such stress could be seen as arising out of attempts by individuals to resolve two relational processes – attachment and identity. Whether these processes are more problematic during adolescence is a debatable point and requires answering in relation to different cultures and situations. Significantly, neither attachment theory nor social identity theory were developed specifically for the adolescent age period (Cotterell 1996: 4-5) and are potentially applicable across the life course. If we then turn to learning (which is key concern for educators), then we encounter no significant differences between the processes engaged in by young people (those between 12 and 18) and those labelled as adult. Notions of distinctive patterns of learning associated with adult experience such as that of andragogy have been thoroughly discredited (Tennant 1997). Indeed, Jarvis’ (1987: 11) concluded that adult learning may be no different from child learning, given the same social situation.

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The perception of youth as a threat has produced a range of policy initiatives during the last decade concerned with extending control and management. Some have involved increased In shopping areas and housing developments there has been the growing use of close circuit television specifically programmed to identify groups of young people. The use of cameras and security patrols has also spread to school playgrounds, corridors and, in parts of the United States, even classrooms. In addition, the use of continuous assessment has narrowed the curriculum and enables closer monitoring of what they are allowed, and not allowed, to learn. Homework clubs, the use of summer learning programmes (particularly for young people in ‘deprived areas’), proposed reductions in the length of holidays, and up to two hours a night compulsory homework are further examples of the way in which surveillance may be expanded.