Attributes of Middle Year Learners

The Adolescent Learner: Making a Difference in the Middle

When we know our learners, we can meet them with understanding, compassion and effectiveness. 

Intellectual Development

  • Highly Curious
  • Imaginative
  • Argues to clarify own thinking (begins to think about ideas)

​Social Development

  •  peer approval/social acceptance is critical (socially vulnerable at this time)
  • testing limits and boundaries
  • challenging authority (beginning to develop own ideas)
  • need time alone to regroup and reflect on experiences
  • social maturity lags behind physical and Intellectual development

​Emotional Development

  • quest for identity and independence
  • self-conscious; prone to lack of self-esteem (vulnerable)
  • highly sensitive to criticism
  • feel their experiences, feelings and problems are unique
  • inconsistent behaviours and moods

Physical Development

  • body and brain going through massive changes
  • prefrontal cortex not fully developed (thinking/problem solving challenges- planning, reasoning, decision making)
  • growth is accelerated and uneven
  • experimentation and confusion are common 

Moral/Ethical Development

  • idealistic
  • strong sense of fairness
  • aware of flaws in others but not in self
  • moving from self-centered perspectives to having consideration for rights and feelings of others