Thursday, October 24, 2013

Understanding Youth

Understanding youth by Michael Nakkula and Eric Toshalis spoke about context mapping. Context mapping is taking into consideration all of the different situations in which you exist in. Such as in the classroom, at home, on a sports team, a certain group of friends, and also thinking about how your behavior might change in each place. In the story Mitch asked Julian to do just that. This helped Julian realize that its normal to have all of these different identities, that as an adolescent you are always trying to find what identity will suit you best.

There are four stages of identity. The first is Foreclosure Identity. Foreclosure identity is something that is adopted, based on the fact that it is familiar and easy to do. For example growing up in a house full of Red Sox Fans will ultimately cause that person to be a Red Sox fan without really exploring any other options. Diffusion identity is holding off on choosing an identity. Youth remain in a state of isolation prolonging exploring different identities and ultimately choosing one, the reason being because doing so can be stressful and cause anxiety.  Which brings us to Moratorium, which is what our friend Julian was experiencing. Moratorium is the most stressful of all the stages. The youth are trying on many hats, attempting to find which one fits them best. It can be very stressful and cause anxiety for the adolescent going through this stage. In this stage it is important to provide a space where youth can talk about what they are feeling and share their thoughts on this roller-coaster called Identity.  Finally there is Achieved identity which means you have committed to an identity, this doesn’t necessarily mean a life long commitment but you have chosen one that you feel comfortable with for the time being.

My Context Map

These are my main categories and how I see myself acting in each one.

·      Big brother
·      A role model
·      Setting examples
·      Teacher
·      Intense
·      fun
·      wild
·      rowdy
·      loud
·      relaxed
·      reminiscent
·      Adventure
·      Quiet
·      Laid back
·      Procrastinate
·      Hard at work
·      Valuable
·      Knowledgeable

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A World Where Youth Hold The Power (Argument)

“A World Where Youth Hold The Power” by Adeola Oredola and members of Youth In Action along with the Youth In Action documentary both had the same argument. That argument was that we should allow youth to be leaders and be apart of community change. The article and documentary argue that youth is best served when they are asked to lead. When they are given their own tasks and responsibilities and even create their own curriculum at times.

Youth particularly in the providence area are faced with many obstacles students elsewhere aren’t faced with. Youth In Action is a place where kids can go to be themselves and have the support to make it through any hardships they may encounter. At YIA they learn to be leaders, voice their opinions in a safe place, and be the best they can be. It all starts by treating them as adults and not children. Let them be involved in things like politics, government, media, and organizing events.

            I think YIA has it figured out. Treating kids like adults can get them thinking like adults and quickly acting like adults. But not boring adults, active adults with great ideas and opinions on real world issues. We need new ways of thinking, and inspiring minds if we are going to create real change for youth. Providing youth with leadership opportunities is a great way to get them some hands on learning and problem solving, much more than you would ever get in a public school. I think that’s what’s missing from all public schools in Rhode Island. Today everything is based on raising test scores but in reality what we really need to be raising is leaders, youth leaders who are prepared for the real world and real ideas on how to make it a better place.