"Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth."
-Alan W. Watts
As a future teacher in the secondary education system, it is my belief that the single biggest issue that I, as a teacher, might need to address is that of students finding their own identity. Using three completely different theories: Jean Piaget's States of Cognitive Development, Erik Erikson's Developmental Stages, and Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, this paper will identify why I think that identity/ role confusion is the greatest problem for students in the secondary level.
According to Jean Piaget, student at the secondary level would fall in to what he calls the "Formal Operational Stage." The formal operational stage is the fourth and final of the stages of cognitive development of Piaget's theory. This stage, which is preceded by the Concrete Operational stage, begins around the age of eleven (beginning of puberty) and continues well into adulthood.
This stage is characterized by acquisition of the ability to think abstractly and draw conclusions from the information available. This stage is also important to our topic, because the students are entering puberty around this time, which leads them to many questions about themselves and their bodies; further leading to questions about just who they think they are.
According to Erik Erikson, there are eight stages of human development; with the stage pertaining to our topic being Adolescence. Along with the stages themselves, Erikson also states that a psychosocial crisis occurs during each of the stages; for this stage the psychosocial crisis is titled Identity versus role confusion. As stated by Erikson, this stage is when the adolescent student becomes concerned with how they appear to others. Many adolescents ask themselves "Who am I? Where am I going in life?", and confusion occurs due...