The Constraints On Adolescent Learning Essay

3080 words - 12 pages

Personalities, social skills and intellectual development are only some of the key factors that effect how pupils learn and achieve differently to one another. Every child responds individually to their specific needs and environment, and the extent of that achievement can be often be linked with external factors as pupils are naturally influenced by a variety of different constraints. These factors that are not concrete and will change and alter throughout an adolescent’s development, as Piaget (Piaget 1970) believed the mind changes and works in different ways at different stages so do the conditions that enhance and limit progress. Furthermore these constraints can have both a beneficial and a detrimental effect on the learning abilities of pupils, often with the most extreme examples of these constraints being the most influential. Physical, intellectual, emotional and social development; gender and ethnicity, play the most significant roles in determining the achievements and success of the individual pupils we teach and it is vital that as teachers we are aware of and can accommodate these factors to enable them to succeed to the best of their ability.
Vygotsky believed that social and cultural interaction and involvement effects the development of our thought processes (Vygotsky 1929 cited in Mooney 2000) indicating that the environment and adults that we interact with as children directly influence our ability to learn, therefore suggesting that ethnicity and social class can not only enhance adolescent learning but perhaps also hinder its progress. Social deprivation and financial instability can hamper a pupil’s development as there might be less emphasis on education as an important necessity in working class families due to their own experiences of the system and its failures. These families might struggle to provide an adequate diet and without the necessary nutrition this can weaken the immune system, resulting in less energy and enthusiasm for learning. Additionally a lack of income might mean that children from deprived families loose out on educational visits, access to the internet and books, limiting educational opportunities and resources that could be used to extend a pupils schooling. A constraint that could directly affect an adolescents learning in Art and art related subjects as equipment and resources are limited and must often be supplemented by the pupils to aid in the production of high quality outcomes, therefore penalising those who cannot afford the best materials.
Physiologists Vygotsky and Piaget’s ideas can both been seen to effect the nature of education and the environment in which children learn due to the theories they devised throughout the twentieth century and whilst their concepts may appear to be different I believe that they do hold some similar threads. Vygotsky believed that children develop through interaction with people, communities, their peers and essentially the environment around them, yet...

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