The Generation Gap: Understanding and Responding to Teenagers’ Needs

Table of Contents

Description

Working with teenagers has always been challenging and, today, the generation gap between “adults” and “teenagers” seems to be even bigger. Educators often struggle to understand teenagers’ real needs and to respond to them. In educational environments, teenagers’ attitude towards learning sometimes hinders the progress of learning activities, and teachers might have a hard time reaching consensus with pupils as for learning goals and methods.

This course aims at guiding educators in finding effective ways for better collaboration with teenage students. Participants will reflect on what it means to be a teenager nowadays, and explore a variety of strategies to make them more autonomous, responsible, and motivated learners. Participants will get familiar with ideas on how to engage teens, help them develop their study skills, and manage teen learning groups. They will also analyze age-appropriate activities, and come up with their own ones, adapted to their subjects and their students.

In addition, this course will provide an overview of digital resources and 21st-century media to be used in and outside the classroom, which can facilitate learning and make it more enjoyable.

By the end of this training, participants will feel more confident in tackling students’ needs, effectively directing them towards learning goals, managing strategies, as well tools, methods, lesson plans, and activities that aim at creating a meaningful learning experience for their teenage pupils.

Learning outcomes

The course will help the participants to:

  • Better understand and identify the specifics of teenage learners (some psychological background and its effect on teens’ needs and approaches to learning);
  • Find strategies to set up/create a successful learning environment;
  • Design courses, choose and/or develop materials taking into consideration the traits and interests of this special age group;
  • Evaluate and adapt materials available;
  • Find suitable methods and materials that would motivate teenage learners in the lessons;
  • Incorporate the main ideas of learner autonomy to help their learners become more autonomous;
  • Incorporate teamwork, collaborative, or project-like tasks in the lessons.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Working with teenagers: an introduction

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external activities during the week;
  • Icebreaker activities;
  • Presentations of the participants’ schools and background.

Day 2 – Getting to know our hero: the teenager

  • Linking the needs and specific features of teenagers to teaching methods;
  • Learner autonomy and developing responsible learners.

Day 3 – Materials for the teenager of the 21st century

  • Experiencing and evaluating task types, activities and materials designed for teens to be used in the classroom;
  • Finding suitable or adaptable online materials for the teenager of the 21st century;
  • Building on creativity.

Day 4 – Social learning: cooperation and project work

  • Giving space for self-expression: presentations, discussions, debates;
  • Assessment but a little differently: peer and self-assessment.

Day 5 – Presentations

  • Participants’ portfolio presentations of ideas, methods and materials adaptable to their home teaching context.

Day 6 – Course closure & cultural activities

Course closure

  • Course evaluation: round up of acquired competences, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

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