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This paper summarizes five developmental characteristics of young adolescents and their implications for practice in schooling: physical, intellectual, emotional/psychological, moral/ethical, and social developmental characteristics. Practitioners, parents, and others who work with young adolescents need to be aware of any changes—subtle or obvious—in these developmental characteristics.

This guide is divided into three sections. The first section outlines the developmental characteristics (the intellectual, social, physical, emotional and psychological, and moral characteristics) of young adolescents Turning Points schools seek to address. The second section addresses the implications these characteristics hold for teaching and learning by suggesting six areas Turning Points schools engage in to respond to the unique needs of young adolescent learners:

This newsletter addresses student motivation and illustrates strategies that can help create a meaningful curriculum to engage middle level learners. Educators can facilitate student engagement by fostering motivation with task-oriented learning environments and teaching students that building new knowledge requires effort. In addition, when curriculum content and learning tasks are relevant and authentic and incorporate choice, students are more likely to view their education as purposeful and engaging.

This template helps schools identify the necessary structures and supports for educating adolescents across six dimensions: school practices & structures, physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and moral.

This tool helps schools identify the key characteristics across five adolescent developmental areas (social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and moral) and brainstorm how they can adapt practices to best meet the needs of their students. This plan can help ensure that the setup of their school and classrooms will help students succeed, and the daily school routines are designed with middle grades students in mind.

This document helps schools understand the needs and characteristics of young adolescents across four developmental areas (physical, cognitive, emotional, and social) with implications for classroom instruction.

In order to run successful middle grades schools, we must understand the developmental characteristics (traits associated with human growth) of early adolescence. This activity helps participants to understand these characteristics and the key categories we use to discuss them (social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and moral/ethical). Participants will also explore how these developmental characteristics influence students’ engagement and success in school.

This article reviews research concerning the causes of children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and the antecedents that trigger oppositional and defiant behavior. Drawing from clinical experience, the authors present a model to alter theses antecedents and offer a wide variety of practical techniques for preventing and responding to oppositional behavior in the classroom.

In this Part III of three essays, Robert Brooks delves further into a framework for understanding the components of motivation and the significant link between these components and success attributes and moral and ethical values. By presenting the work of Dr. Edward Deci, he notes that environments will become “motivating environments” when individuals' needs to belong and feel connected, to experience a sense of self-determination and ownership, and to have their competencies identified and recognized are met.

In this Part II of three essays, Robert Brooks discusses six success attributes identified by Dr. Marshall Raskind that are associated with success and also have an impact on motivation. He notes that these attributes can serve as a blueprint for the ways in which individuals raise and educate all children and manage their own life journeys. They also offer guideposts for creating motivating environments in which cooperation, fun, perseverance, accomplishment, compassion, and personal control dominate the scene.

In this Part I of three essays, Robert Brooks discusses some of the key features associated with the cultivation of motivation and accomplishment to create "motivating environments,” that is, environments in which those involved are eager to participate and cooperate. He described current research examining the concepts of success, achievement, ambition, and motivation. He emphasized that these concepts are relevant not only in individuals' roles as parents, teachers, or other caregivers but also in the ways in which they conduct their adult lives.

40 to 60 percent of high school students become chronically disengaged from school — not counting those who already dropped out. Research indicates that social and emotional learning (SEL) programming for elementary- and middle- school students is a promising means to reducing problem behaviors, promoting positive adjustment, and enhancing academic performance.