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“Agency in adolescence: young people constructing their own adolescence”

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ewa Illakowicz.

Joint PLACE and eed Research Seminar

In this lecture I will be drawing on material in my new book “The nature of adolescence: 4th Edn.” (2010), and I will be exploring the concept of agency as it applies to adolescent development. In the book I argue that two approaches to adolescence – the biological and the social constructionist view – are inadequate to explain a range of behaviours, and that a new approach is needed to take into account the fact that young people are clearly constructing their own paths through this developmental stage. I will draw on interview material collected specifically to include in the book, as well as what I consider to be very important recent research looking at such things as monitoring and supervision, and information management by young people. I will argue that the concept of agency in adolescence should inform the way adults relate to young people. Relationships should be bi-directional rather than uni-directional, and I will propose a partnership model of interaction which is necessary to plan effective interventions, to conduct better research and to forge more fruitful relationships with young people.

This talk is part of the Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars series.

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