Adolescent Development

January 29, 2001

BLAU 203
W 1:00-3:45 PM
OFFICE HOURS: M W 10:00-11:30 AM, & by appt., 122 Children’s School, nr. Harkness Chapel,

An examination of adolescence and youth with emphasis on personal, real-life, and timely topics that can be tied to current scholarly inquiry. This course will include lectures, group and class discussions, and multimedia presentations. Relative to the goals of the course, students will: consider the historical and social contexts of adolescent development; learn theories regarding the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sexual, and moral development of adolescents; be exposed to current research and theory on risk factors affecting adolescent development; evaluate and critique views on contemporary urban, suburban, and rural youth cultures; connect research and theory to real-life and to practice by reflecting on their own lives while also engaging in service learning with adolescents in selected community agencies, and; explore the implications of theories and research covered for families, teachers, counselors, policy makers, and society.

Rice, Philip, F. (1999), The Adolescent: Development, Relationships, and Culture (9th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon..

A flat 3-pronged folder for journal entries. Preferably UPC Code 73333-62630 or Ampad #36-121. Labeled with student’s name on the front, and properly labeled as instructed in “Journal Reflection Questions.”

American Psychological Association (1994). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: APA, pp. 1-22, 258-272. (currently 3 copies at the library on general reserve).

Baenen, J. (1991). H.E.L.P.: How to Enjoy Living With a Preadolescent. Westerville, OH: The National Middle School Association.

Dunlap, M. (1997). The Role of the Personal Fable in Adolescent Service Learning and Critical Reflection. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 4, 56-63.

Dunlap, M. (manuscript in press). Voices of Volunteers in Community Service for a New Century (Tentative Title). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Foster, M. (1994). Educating for Competence in Community and Culture: Exploring the Views of Exemplary Teachers. In M. Shujaa’s Too Much Schooling Too Little Education, Trenton NJ: Africa World Press, Inc..

Freedman, S. (1998). A Mother’s Presence. In Blauner’s (Eds.), Our Mother’s Spirits, pp. 172-175. NY: HarperCollins.

Jensen, R. (1998). Patriarchal Sex. In S. Schacht & D. Ewing (Eds.), Feminism and Men: Reconstructing Gender Relations. NY: New York University Press.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Sattler, D., Kramer, G., Shabatay, V., & Bernstein, D. (2000). Adolescence. In Lifespan Development in Context: Voices and Perspectives, pp. 95-126. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Tatum, B. (1992). Talking about race: the application of racial identity development theory in the classroom. Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 62 (1), 1-24.

Additional readings will be placed on reserve throughout the semester. Be advised that assigned readings will be considered quiz and/or test material.


(1) ATTENDANCE AND INFORMED PARTICIPATION. Regular attendance and participation in class discussions are required. Attendance will be taken daily. Failure to participate in class discussions and course work in a manner that suggests that you have been informed, in part, by your readings and other course resources can negatively affect your grade.

(2) SERVICE LEARNING is required on a regular basis. It is my philosophy that service learning experiences help to enhance academic learning, and vice versa, that academic learning can enhance service learning. Therefore, I require students to engage in supervised service learning involving adolescents or pre-adolescents. It must be coordinated through the Office of Volunteers for Community Service (OVCS). A letter is attached for you to give to your service learning placement supervisor when you begin your service learning. Service learning should be arranged before, and begin no later than, Monday, February 14, 2000.

(3) REFLECTION JOURNAL. The purpose of the reflection journal is for the documenting of all of your activities related to the course, but especially concerning your service learning experiences. Items that are to be included in the reflection journal are: your answers to the Journal Reflection Questions; feelings and insights regarding your service learning experiences; reactions to text and reserved readings; insights gained related to the course; and a concluding summary to bring your journal to a close. Each service learning experience and related thoughts, feelings, and/or insights are to be documented. Entry submissions should be ongoing from the beginning of the course, are to be typed, double spaced, completed and submitted for grading as scheduled below. Please do not use a three binder for turning in your journal, but rather use a flat folder as listed above with 3 prongs for securely holding papers.

(4) A MID-TERM AND A FINAL EXAM. The mid-term and final exams will consist of a variety of short answers, definitions, fill-in the blanks, and/or essays. The final is cumulative and self-scheduled. In addition, the instructor may issue a “pop quiz” at any time without advance notice.

(5) EVALUATION FORM. Must be completed by each student·s service learning supervisor before the end of the semester. It is your responsibility to verify with your supervisor that the evaluation has been mailed by the appropriate due date. Students are not to hand-deliver the evaluations to the instructor or to her box. The evaluations should be mailed or delivered by the supervisors.

(6) WRITTEN HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS. Details about the written homework assignments are attached. They are to be typed, doubled-spaced, and in APA format.

(7) ONE CLASS PRESENTATION/PROJECT on a topic related to adolescent development. Topic ideas are provided later in the syllabus. The presentations are scheduled for the last day of class, and will have a mini-conference format.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE. The reading assignments given below are required and are to be completed by the date they appear in the outline unless otherwise specified. Additional recommended or required readings may be assigned and/or reserved as we progress through the semester. If any additional assignments are announced in class, you are responsible for them. Most classes will take the form of lectures, discussions, and/or multi-media presentations.

W Jan. 26 Introduction to the Course and to Each Other.
Visit from Tracee Reiser of the Connecticut College Office of Volunteers for Community Service (OVCS).

W Feb. 2 Social and Ethnic Context of Adolescence.
Text: Rice, ch. 1 & 3.
Reserved: Tatum, 1992; Dunlap (in press), preface & introduction.

W Feb. 9 Theoretical Contexts.
Text: Rice, ch. 2.
Reserved: Dunlap (in press), ch. 1-2.
Homework due today: see Homework Assignment sheet; all homework should be written in APA (1994; see pp. 1-22, 258-272) format.

W Feb. 16 Physical Development; and Film: Period Piece.
Text: Rice, ch. 4 & 5.
Reserved: Dunlap (in press), ch. 3 & 9.
Homework due today: see Homework Assignment sheet.

W Feb. 23 Intellectual Development.
Text: Rice, ch. 6 & 7.
Reserved: Dunlap (in press), ch. 5 & 6.
Homework due today: see Homework Assignment sheet.

W Mar. 1 Psychosocial and Moral Development. Film: Still Killing Us Softly.
Text: Rice, ch. 12.
Reserved: Baenen (1991); Dunlap (1997); Dunlap (in press), ch. 4.
JOURNALS DUE in appropriate flat 3-pronged folders.

W Mar. 8 MID-TERM EXAM (on material up to and including last week).
Service Learning Group Work; Film: The Smell of Burning Ants.


W Mar. 29 Native American Adolescent Development (departmental guest), location TBA.
After guest presentation, return to our regular classroom.
Gender, Ethnicity, & Identity.
Text: Rice, ch. 8.
Reserved: Sattler et al. (2000); Dunlap (in press), ch. 8.

W Apr. 5 Sexuality and Intimate Relationships.
Text: Rice, ch. 9 & 11.
Reserved: Jensen, 1998; Dunlap (in press), ch. 7 & 10.
Homework due today: see Homework Assignment sheet.

W Apr. 12 Adolescence in Family Contexts
Text: Rice, ch. 13 & 14.
Reserved: Freedman (1998).

W Apr. 19 Society, Subculture, Alienation, and Substance Abuse; Film: Dialogues of “Madwomen.”
Text: Rice, ch. 10, 17, 18.
Homework due today: see Homework Assignment sheet.

W Apr. 26 Education and Vocation.
Text: Rice, ch. 15 & 16.
Reserved: Foster; Dunlap (in press), ch. 11 & Afterword.

W May 3 Field Trip to Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School.
(We may walk there and back, so wear comfortable shoes).
Reserved: Ladson-Billings, ch. 6.
JOURNALS DUE TODAY in appropriate flat 3-pronged folders.

W May 10 Final presentations; and course wrap-up.

FINAL EXAM (Self-Scheduled). The final must be taken in accordance with the self-scheduled exams schedule and guidelines unless otherwise pre-arranged. The final will consist primarily of material since the mid-term, but should be considered cumulative to the extent that questions may be included regarding material covered prior to the mid-term.


GRADING: Final course grades will be based on evaluation of the following (%’s are approximations):

Final Exam (30%)
Mid-Term (30%
Service Learning Evaluation & Course Journals (20%)
Homework (10%)
Class Attendance, Participation, and Presentation (10%)

LATE WORK: Work that is late will be reduced by 10% of the highest possible grade for that assignment for each day that it is late.

GRADING AND ACADEMIC HONESTY: In this course it is expected and assumed that students are familiar with and abide by Connecticut College’s Honor Code. Therefore, all assignments and exams must be written solely by the stated author, and for this course only. No assignments may be submitted to fulfill the requirements of more than one course unless explicitly agreed upon by the instructors of each of the courses. Suspected cheating, plagiarism, or other dishonesty will be referred immediately to Connecticut College’s judiciary board, and could result in a failing grade for that assignment or exam and/or for the course.


HIV/AIDS and Teenagers Cross-Cultural Communication and Youth Culture
Teenage Pregnancy Prevention, Intervention, Treatment of Risk Factors
Teenage Parenting Teenagers and Divorce or Blended Families
Alcohol and/or Substance Abuse Educational Issues
Teenage Suicide Teen Slang of the Past and Present
Urban, Suburban and/or Rural Gangs Juvenile Justice Issues
Violence (e.g., Columbine) Youth and Police Interactions
Acquaintance Rape Playin’ the Dozens
Music (Rap, Heavy Metal) Adolescent Spirituality
Sexual Abuse (Teen Victims or Perpetrators) Urban Environments Coping & Resiliency
Exceptionality or Other Diversity Issues Self Esteem and Identity Development
Teen Prejudice (Racism, Sexism, or Heterosexism) Teenagers and Parental Discipline Methods
Teens Growing Up in Single Parent Families Ethnic Group Specific Adolescent Study
Teens and “White Privilege” (McIntosh, etc.) Biracial or other Ethnic Teens
Teenagers Being Reared by Grandparents Late and Early Maturing Adolescents
Adopted, Foster Care, or Kinship Care Teenagers Eating Disorders
Media Influences upon Teens Overarching Cultural Influences upon Teens

Consult with instructor for topics not cited.

Answer the following questions in a concise but thoughtful manner. Your responses need not be longer than 2 double spaced, typed pages in APA (1994, see pp. 1-22, 258-272) format. Incorporate information from the texts, readings, lectures, discussions, and service learning wherever possible. Bring your answers with you to class on the day that they are due. After class, file them in your journals to be turned in.

1) Due February 9, 2000

Return to Tatum (1992):
Describe your initial reactions to the work of Tatum and her students.
Prepare a statement describing your racial identity development and stage(s) up to this point in your life.
Include a description of any key person(s) or event(s) that have been instrumental in your racial identity development thus far.

2) Due February 16, 2000

Explore the Internet for six web sites that are designed for or of interest to adolescents.
Summarize the content of and provide the address for each site.
What are teens learning from the Internet?
Is the information helpful or harmful? Explain.

3) Due February 23, 2000

Browse the Juvenile section of the Connecticut College library, and the Multicultural Resource Center adjacent to the Human Development Department to familiarize yourself with some of the new books that are available for, and about, adolescents. Be sure to discuss the collections, pointing out specific titles for or about adolescents that may be particularly helpful and why.

4) Due April 5, 2000

What kinds of messages surrounding sexuality and relationships are adolescents being exposed to through music videos. Address the following questions after carefully observing 5 music videos on MTV and/or BET television.
o List the videos, channel, and summarize their imagery and content.
How do the themes differ depending on the type of music or the gender of the artist?
How might this form of media influence teenage sexual behavior and relationships? Explain, tying your ideas into research literature and theories provided via the course.

5) Due April 19, 2000

Talk to two different parents (not your own) who are either currently parenting adolescents or have done so within the last five years.
What do they perceive to be the top 5 areas of conflict?
How do these compare to those provided in the text and readings?
How are/were conflicts managed?
Do you agree with the parents’ strategies? Why or why not?
Tie your observations and evaluations into relevant course material.

Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.

FIRST LABEL YOUR JOURNAL FILE: Label your journal file with, 1) Your Name, Gender and Age; 2) Your Course# and Section; 3) The Semester (e.g., Fall, 1999); and 4) The Name of Your Service Learning Location.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR HMD 321: Your journal is to also be used for reflecting upon and responding to readings, films, guest speakers and other course related materials and experiences.

GENERAL FORMAT INFORMATION: The journal allows you to stretch your thinking beyond the boundaries of the classroom. It is intended as an opportunity for you to relate what you are studying about children, adults and families to what you see them doing as you observe them in your service learning settings as well as to reflect upon concepts and experiences related to the course.

LABEL EACH JOURNAL ENTRY: Each entry in the file should be labeled with the date of visit. Some students have titled their entries or added other personal touches.

HOW TO PROCESS OR TAKE NOTES: It is probably NOT a good idea to take notes for your journal while you are engaged at your service learning site. The best time to process is right after your service learning for that day, and then perhaps at any points after as you continue to think about your observations and experiences. Entries should be double spaced, and each entry should be dated. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND IMPERATIVE THAT SERVICE LEARNERS REFER TO ANY CHILDREN, TEACHERS, ETC. BY INITIALS ONLY, AND NOT BY NAME, FOR THE SAKE OF CONFIDENTIALITY.

LENGTH OF ENTRIES: There is no set or required length for each entry; the length should be determined by your observation and your processing of it. As you become more at ease with writing in your journal, length will become less important. You should have at least one entry for each day that you observe. You may add more entries between visits as you see fit as you process course materials, service learning, etc.

FIRST JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT- INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE FIRST FEW ENTRIES: Questions to think about when observing and reflecting. These questions are to be addressed in the first few entries of your journal, and can be addressed even before your placement actually begins. Please do not fear answering honestly. There are no right or wrong responses in your journals. Thus, prior to and/or over the course of your first few service learning sessions, respond to the following questions in your journals:

1) Where is your service learning site? How will you be getting to your service learning site? Describe the surroundings of your site.

2) How did you come to select your particular observation site? In other words, what attracted you to this one over the others available?

3) What do you hope to learn or possibly discover about the children, adults or families or about the observation site? What do you hope to observe, learn or discover about child development by participating at your observation center?

4) What are your specific duties or tasks? Are you a tutor, peer model, or do you serve in some other capacity? What specifically will be your tasks and roles?

5) Describe the children, adults, or families (not necessarily each one, but collectively) with whom you are working in your service learning? With how many children, adults, or families do you come into contact? What are their age ranges and school grade levels? What do you happen to know about their lives and backgrounds (their Microsystems, Mesosystems, Exosystems and Macrosystems)? How might the participants be similar to one another? How might they be different from one another? Are there any that you might define as under-served or “at risk” for some reason? Why so? Why not?

6) Do you see any similarities between yourself as a child or adult and the children, adults or families in general or individually? What are the similarities? What are the differences?

7) What developmental deficits (physical, cognitive, psychosocial, emotional, spiritual, etc.), if any, do you think the participants have? What strengths and competencies do you think they have? What have you observed in their behavior that might illustrate these deficits, strengths, and competencies? You may include a discussion of deficits and strengths in their Microsystems(s), Mesosystem(s), Exosystem(s), and/or Macrosystem.

8) What questions stand out in your mind most about the participants? If you had a crystal ball and could investigate any aspect of their development, what would you want to focus on? Why? What would you want most to avoid focusing upon? Why?

9) Again, please do not fear answering honestly. There are no wrong or right responses in your journal. Remember that the purpose of your journal is to help you record, discuss, and reflect upon your observation experiences without fear of being graded on content. How do you feel at this point about this service learning experience? How do you view yourself with relation to the participants at this point? In other words, do you feel any attachment or connection (can you relate to the participants in any way)? In what areas do you relate? In what areas do you not? Why? Why not?

10) Where do you want to go from here with respect to your observations? Have any areas emerged yet that you think you might like to focus on in particular when you observe the participants. Are there any individual participants that you feel particularly interesting? Jot any ideas for future directions.

BASIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR FUTURE ENTRIES: In general, your journal entry should have two parts: (1) a record of what you have observed or experienced at the time, and (2) your response or reaction to it. Your reaction should focus on relating what you saw to information from the course. Personal reactions in the journal are encouraged, but the central thrust of the response should be the relationship between what you saw and the course content as much as possible.

Human Development Department
Instructor: Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.

Dear Supervisor or Teacher: I would appreciate your assessment of the following student service learner from my course. Please complete this evaluation for the student to return to me at the end of the semester. Your feedback will not only provide valuable information for measuring the progress of students, but it can also help me to improve on the design of future courses. The supervisor or teacher should mail this form by Monday, May 15, 2000 directly to: Professor Michelle R. Dunlap, Box 5322 Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Ave., New London, CT 06320-4196. I thank you for your assistance.

STUDENT NAME _______________________________________________
DAYCARE/SCHOOL/AGENCY ___________________________________
SUPERVISOR/TEACHER ________________________________________

Using the number scale, please check the number best assessing the service learner’s performance: 1. Excellent 2. Good 3. Fair 4. Poor 5. Cannot Comment
1 2 3 4 5
a. Reliability ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
b. Motivation ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
c. Involvement ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
d. Commitment ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
e. Productivity ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
f. Cooperativeness ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

Do you feel that this service learner was adequately prepared to accept the responsibilities that they were given? In what way(s) could they have been better prepared?

Did you feel that this was a worthwhile experience for you and your classroom or agency? How did having a service learner in your classroom or agency benefit you?

In your opinion, what can I, as an instructor, do to enhance a service learner exchange such as this and make it a more beneficial experience for you, your students or clients, and my students?

Do you feel that you had a good rapport with this service learner? Why or why not?

Would you want to have a service learner from my courses again in the future? Why or why not?

I would greatly appreciate any additional feedback. Please use the back of this sheet for that purpose. This will help me to strive to better prepare my students for the service learning experience. Thank you for your participation and valuable input.

Human Development Department
Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.
Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave., Box 5322
New London, CT 06320-4196
(860) 439-2634 (Office)
(860) 439-5457 (FAX) (E-Mail)

January 24, 2000

Dear School or Agency Supervisor,

The student ____________________________ is enrolled in a Human Development Course that I teach. I believe that service learning experiences help to enhance academic learning, and vice versa, that academic learning can enhance service learning. Therefore, I require that all of my students engage in supervised service learning involving children, adults and/or families, coordinated through either the Connecticut College Children’s Program or the Connecticut College Office of Volunteer for Community Services (OVCS).

The above student is enrolled in my HMD ___207___ course. All students of my courses are expected to behave in accordance with the Connecticut College Children’s Program or OVCS guidelines for behavior and performance of duties. For students of my HMD 111B Introduction to Human Development Course, they are also asked by me to make as many connections as they can between basic course concepts and real life human behavior, and vice versa, real life behavior and concepts taught in the course. In my HMD 207, Adolescent Development, I expect students to make connections between course concepts and pre-adolescent, adolescent, and/or early adulthood behavior and experiences. HMD 302 Social and Personality Development students are expected to focus more on social developmental issues, and social cognition issues as they perform their regular service learning duties. For students of my HMD 321 Children and Families in a Multicultural Society course, students are encouraged to focus their attention more on multicultural concepts, issues, challenges and resolutions. HMD 402 Social and Personality Development Research students are expected to think in terms of the implications of particular areas of research that they are pursuing for the service learning environments and/or children and families of service learning environments in which they are engaged.

Attached to this letter you will find an evaluation form that I would appreciate your completing at the end of the student’s service learning semester. It should be mailed directly to me. Your evaluation will not only provide valuable information for measuring the progress of my students, but it can also help me to improve on the design of courses in the future.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if I can provide you with more information regarding the service learning objectives that I have for my students, or if you have any other questions or concerns. I thank you again for helping to provide this service learning opportunity for one of my students.


Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.

School: Connecticut College
Professor: Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.
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