Saturday 2011-06-04

Escaping The Endless Adolescence by Joseph and Claudia Allen

The Allens have written a frustrating book. They repeat Deci and Ryan's Competency, Relatedness, and Autonomy finding for motivation, however they do not resolve how to do that in an increasingly specialized world. A century ago, a kid could learn tasks on the farm and be a contributing member of society from an early age. What can a child do nowadays? Do they have to wait until after college?

When the book (Lord of the Flies) was written, it was received not as a story about youth, but as a parable about human nature when societal constraints are removed.
-- Inside the Bubble

That's one interpretation. Another is that it's a satire: we look with horror upon children who factionalize and seek to kill each other, while we applaud our great nations going to war with each other.

Furthermore, in order to grok the satire, one has to first conceive of these children as adults. Which is the very same idea this book espouses. Fail. Fail. Fail.

The adolescent bubble lacks opportunities to perform meaningful work, and it prevents sustained contact with adults and the adult world, but adolescents do have one social element in abundance within their bubble: they have each other.
-- Inside the Bubble
(Lev) Vygotsky noted that even young children could often manage complex tasks that seemed far beyond them if adults provided what he called "scaffolding" to support them. Like the scaffolding that surrounds construction sites for tall buildings, Vygotsky's notion was that adults could and should provide just enough support to allow youth to reach otherwise unattainable heights through their own efforts.
-- Finding the Inner Adult
The Commonwealth of Virginia, for example, requires forty hours of driving with an adult over a nine-month learner's period before a teen is allowed to drive alone. But our experience is that many parents don't use this time to drive with their teens...
It's easier for the parents to drive: less stressful, quicker, and theoretically safer.
-- Finding the Inner Adult
One of its (Bard College at Simon's Rock) most unique features is that it permits students to its college curriculum as early as the completion of tenth grade.
-- Ending High School as We Know It