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Getting to Know Yourself: Developing and Accessing Intrapersonal Intelligence Among Early Adolescents

by
Dina Pollock


Contents of Curriculum Unit 01.06.01:

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Introduction

Success in school requires a certain level of intellectual ability or intelligence as demonstrated by how well a child reads, uses language and logic, understands and manipulates numbers. Equally important in supporting school success are the abilities to get along with others, regulate one's emotions and behavior and cope with frustration, disappointment or problems.

In my role as a school social worker I am part of the evaluation team to which children are referred when academic success eludes them and they experience long-term difficulty or failure in school. Children referred for special help or intervention due to academic problems are often described in terms of the behaviors they exhibit as well as the difficulties they have with academic work. Often these children are characterized as having socialization problems with peers and difficulty communicating their feelings in an acceptable, socially appropriate manner.

The literature on human intelligence offers new ways to understand the struggles and strengthen the abilities of children who do not usually experience success at school. The theories of multiple intelligences and of emotional intelligence expand our thinking about the ways in which the abilities and strengths of children can be viewed, affirmed, reinforced and accessed. Of the multiple dimensions of intelligence that Howard Gardner has isolated and described, the dimension of intrapersonal intelligence relates most directly to the nature of my work of providing social work counseling to students who struggle at school. Gardner describes intrapersonal intelligence as the "access to one's own feeling life...the capacity instantly to effect discriminations among ... feelings and, eventually, to label them, to enmesh them in symbolic codes, to draw upon them as a means of understanding and guiding one's behavior." (Gardner, 1983, p. 239)

Research on emotional intelligence, specifically the writings of John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey and Daniel Goleman, also lends insight to understanding the functioning of children at school. Mayer and Salovey (1989) put forth a definition of emotional intelligence as consisting of the following five domains:@Text-ni:

1. Knowing one's emotions
2. Managing emotions
3. Motivating oneself
4. Recognizing emotions in others
5. Handling relationships
As Mayer and Salovey (1989, 1993) postulate, self-awareness, that is the ability to notice, recognize and monitor one's feelings, underlies all other aspects of emotional intelligence. An understanding of one's emotional reactions and an ability to identify and access one's feelings are thus seen as essential for personal and social effectiveness. Greater understanding of one's emotions increases one's ability to manage or cope with those emotions and with life's inevitable frustrations and setbacks. Being in touch with one's feelings enables a person to make surer, wiser and healthier decisions, from making the simplest choices to handling and sorting through life's major dilemmas. Empathy, the ability to understand or tune in to others, also requires a person to first be tuned in to his or her own emotional reality.

Goleman also identifies self-awareness as the "fundamental emotional competence on which others, such as emotional self control, build." ( Goleman, 1995, p. 47 ) He too emphasizes the importance of self-awareness which permits one to step back from one's experiences, to see and interpret one's reactions, understand one's emotional workings and say what one is experiencing rather than be swept away by the power of emotions. This is the first step, in Goleman's view, towards being capable of achieving mastery of one's emotions, a key skill of the 'emotionally intelligent' individual.

The unit that I present here will be used in my counseling work with young adolescents in grades 7 through 9 in the middle and high schools where I work. Students in these grades are particularly vulnerable socially, emotionally and educationally. They are going through the rapid physical transformation that accompanies puberty: sexual development, dramatic changes in height, weight and shape, changes in facial appearance, all of which may produce insecurity, self-criticism and self-consciousness. Their newly evolving sense of self is fragile; their relationships with others are becoming more complex, deeper, and more confusing; their social world is becoming more important but also more pressure-laden. A student who hasn't had much success at school can develop a negative self image as a student at this time, causing the young adolescent to become discouraged, turn off, lose interest, or drift away from school. The population of students with which I work as a school social worker tends to consist of those students for whom school has not been an arena for success.

The dramatic cognitive development that takes place during early adolescence enables a young person to think and see the world in new ways, with an increased capacity for reasoning and abstract rather than concrete thinking. Young adolescents begin to think in more complex ways about the issues that affect them and their world. They also turn that cognitive sophistication inward, wondering who they are, what makes them unique, and how they fit into their world. From a psychoanalytic perspective, adolescence is the second phase in the separation - individuation process, the first phase having taken place around age two. Adolescent behavior, especially when oppositional, rebellious or testing of boundaries, serves to help define self and non-self, differentiating 'this is me' from 'this is not me'. The central developmental task of adolescence being identity formation, young adolescents are searching to learn more about themselves, their strengths and abilities, while defining their ideas, ideals and principles.

My curriculum unit will dovetail naturally with this developmental task and has as its goal the intent to increase self-awareness and self-reflective ability in the student participants. The unit will attempt to achieve the following objectives:

1. In didactic sessions, students will define and differentiate external and internal experience. With the goal of developing self-awareness, students will identify the characteristics of their internal lives and develop techniques and vocabulary for understanding and sharing their feelings and inner experiences.
2. Through activities that guide them to explore the ways in which their external and internal worlds are both alike and different from one another's, each student will identify characteristics that differentiate and define his/her uniqueness as a person as well as traits, viewpoints or experiences that he/she shares with others.1
3. Students will begin the process of integrating this learning about themselves into a concept of self which incorporates an appreciation of one's unique skills and strengths, a realistic appraisal of one's areas of weakness and an understanding of how one can strive to capitalize on the strengths and compensate for the weaknesses.2
4. Students will use this self understanding to develop the skills which are an outgrowth of it: improved ability to understand and cope with feelings, more informed decision-making, more effective and assertive communication skills, all of which lead to an improved sense of efficacy and self-esteem.

I am hoping that through participation in the lessons and activities presented in this unit a ripple effect of success will be created. As students' self-awareness increases, the connection between feelings and behavior will become easier to recognize, leading to improved decision making ability and improved self control. As the work of Gardner, Goleman and Mayer and Salovey indicates, the better one understands one's feelings the more control one is likely to have over them. Self-knowledge and the growth it produces can help young people cope more effectively with their emotions, with frustrations, with problems and disappointments. It can produce increased self-esteem, as the young person is able to define and recognize areas of strength in him/herself not previously acknowledged or identified.

Ackerman and Izard (1994) attribute a potentially very important role to self reflection in the learning process: if self reflection / self examination can be applied to analyze ones success or failure, one's sense of personal control can be increased, leading to improved motivation in future tasks (p. 735). Increased self-awareness can thus contribute to an improved understanding of the skills required and the obstacles faced in the classroom, enabling a student to take a more active role in understanding his/her needs, communicating with teachers, advocating for and effectively utilizing extra help.

Robert Sternberg's writing also describes the important role played by self-awareness. One of Sternberg's (1998) constructs, that of 'personal navigation', investigates the connection between self-awareness and self-efficacy. Describing personal navigation as "the means by which self-awareness is translated into a plan of action for one's life" (p. 222), Sternberg characterizes it as the degree of control or mastery a person has over his/her journey through life. This sense of direction in life involves the ability to set personally suitable goals, construct a plan to achieve them, have the capability to actualize the plan, and cope with the inevitable obstacles encountered along the way. Sternberg relates personal navigation to self- awareness in this way: "...the most essential elements of sense of direction involve self understanding in intellectual terms (what Gardner ... refers to as 'intrapersonal intelligence'), in emotional terms ... and in the integration of the two." (p. 227) In Sternberg's view, it is important that one's self understanding be comprehensive: "...finding direction in life involves applying one's self understanding broadly, to one's personality, emotions and interests, as well as to one's intellectual talents." (p. 228) The curriculum presented here, in keeping with Sternberg's viewpoint, will guide the student participants through a process of self-exploration in the broadest possible way.

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Curriculum@Text-ni:

This curriculum unit is intended to be utilized in small counseling group sessions of six to ten students, but it can also be used in a classroom with the students being divided into small groups. Ideal implementation in the classroom would involve the school social worker or guidance counselor teaming up with the classroom teacher to present this unit.

To facilitate openness and self-disclosure among group members, it is a good idea to avoid having friends or members of the same clique within the group. It can help to balance the group with a racial / cultural mix, a mix of social groups and students from the various academic tracks at school. Parental permission would be needed for students to participate, and the letter sent to parents (see sample, Appendix I) should provide parents with information about the content and goals of the group meetings.

The unit can be taught once weekly for a semester (20 sessions) or can be condensed to a shorter format, such as once weekly for eight to twelve consecutive weeks. The lessons, although including some didactic material, should be mostly experiential, involving games, art and sharing in dyads or small groups. Each lesson will include fast-paced activities to sustain the attention of the students and create an atmosphere of fun and comradery in the group. The early lessons require less self-disclosure than later lessons, assuming that trust within the group will grow throughout the course of instruction of the unit.

The sample lessons presented here cover a great deal of ground, in terms of the stated objectives and activities as well as the ongoing group dynamics and trust building. It is thus expected that it may require several group sessions to complete each lesson. It is very important for the instructor to respect the process that develops within the group, recognizing that it will take time for students to understand, react and open up to the issues these lessons address.

Using a few moments of silent relaxation to begin each group session can separate the mood and experiences within the group from normal classroom routine. It can be a way for students to allow the experiences of their day to digest and settle, notice what they are feeling, and clear and open their minds. Any guided relaxation, guided visualization or focused breathing exercise can help students shift their focus inward to get in touch with the inner world of feelings and thoughts. Connecting with themselves through such exercises can put students in a mood of reflection that is conducive to engaging in the self-assessment activities that this group experience includes.

Lesson I

Objectives

• To introduce the unit to group members.
• To enable students to get to know and relax with one another, to identify things they have in common and ways in which they differ.
• To establish group guidelines and differentiate the group experience from that of a classroom.
• To teach students the relaxation exercise with which each group meeting will begin.
The first meeting of the group will begin with a brief description of the purpose of the unit, for example: "We're going to spend a few weeks together and each of you is going to discover a lot about yourself. Through our meetings, talks and activities you will learn what makes you special, what your strengths are, and how to make the most of your strengths in both social and academic situations. This group is a place for everyone to talk, listen, accept themselves and each other, and have fun."

An icebreaker activity should be used as a way of engaging students and setting the tone for the type of interaction expected in the group. A popular icebreaker is 'musical candy toss', an adaptation of musical chairs. A bag filled with candy is tossed from one group member to another as music is played. The person who is holding the bag when the instructor stops the music shares something about him / herself, then takes a piece of candy. The music and the candy toss then resume.

Another icebreaker involves creating a scavenger hunt type of activity in which students are given a list of things they must learn about other members of the group. The list, entitled "Find a person who..." might include, for example, "...has a birthday in June", "...is the youngest child in the family", "...plays a musical instrument", and so on. As the results of this hunt are shared with the group, the instructor / group facilitator can lead students to recognize the uniqueness of each group member as well as the attributes that group members have in common.

The group should now move to the task of establishing group guidelines. Students can be coached to develop the guidelines by asking them what rules need to be established to make the group feel like a safe place to talk honestly about things that matter to them. The list they generate should address the following issues: 3

1. Mutual respect within the group: everyone should be listened to and treated with courtesy, no 'put-downs' of any kind will be allowed. Feedback among group members must be shared in positive and respectful ways. It should be stressed that there is no need for competition in this group and there are no correct answers within our discussions. Each student's perspective is uniquely personal and important and deserves respect.
2. Confidentiality: whatever students share during group meetings stays within the group so that everyone can feel safe talking in the group.
3. Students always have the choice to 'pass' or not participate in an activity. As people have varying comfort levels in talking and sharing in groups, group members should be helped to understand and respect those differences.
This first lesson will end with introducing a relaxation activity. The instructor can say something like: "Another special thing we'll do in this group is to begin each meeting with a moment of silent relaxation. You can use the time to think about things that happened or feelings you had earlier in the day, to notice how you feel right now, to clear your mind, or just relax. I'm going to show you what I mean, so I want everyone to get comfortable in your seat while we try a short silent relaxation exercise." The instructor might begin by having students tense then relax muscles progressively, talking students through the body from face to shoulders, arms, hands, stomach, legs and feet. Or students can simply be instructed to close their eyes and breathe calm, relaxed feelings in through the nose, then blow feelings of stress, frustration, etc out through the mouth. (See Hobday and Ollier, 1999, pp. 61-67 for examples of guided relaxation and visualization texts.)

Lesson II

Objectives

• To expand students' concept of intelligence by very briefly introducing them to the theories of emotional intelligence and multiple intelligences.
• To introduce the concept of self-awareness and Gardner's view of it (i.e., intrapersonal intelligence) as a type of intelligence.
• To improve understanding of the concept of self-awareness by differentiating the internal from the external world.
• To develop a vocabulary to describe feelings and to understand the uniqueness and variations of people's inner experiences.
A very brief didactic introduction will expand students' thinking about the nature of intelligence, examining emotional intelligence and Gardner's view of multiple intelligences. Discussion will then move to Gardner's personal intelligences, and a definition will be developed of 'self-awareness' or intrapersonal intelligence.

In order to better grasp the concept of self-awareness, the group will look at the nature of experience as consisting of the external world of objects, actions and events and the inner world of feelings, desires, thoughts and judgments. Discussion can explore the outer self as comprising those aspects of ourselves that are easily seen by others: one's body, behavior, accomplishments, etc. The inner self, much more private and hard to know, consists of physical and emotional feelings, opinions, memories, dreams, etc. A list can be generated of the vast array of human feelings, and other markers of inner experience can be discussed, with an emphasis on the tremendous variability and uniqueness of the inner experiences of people. Having students complete, then share, a questionnaire like the one entitled "Things that matter to me..." (Appendix II) can be a vehicle for helping students to appreciate the variations of the inner experiences of group members.

An activity described in Sutton, (1999, pp. 64-65), is a fun, non-threatening way to talk about feelings and to think about the qualities that make each individual unique. The materials are a box of potatoes and a bag containing pieces of paper labeled with the name of a feeling. Students choose a potato and a piece of paper, then study the potato, noticing what makes it different from every other potato. Students are then asked to give the potato an identity: sex, name, age, and develop a story about the potato 'person' that is related to the feeling written on their piece of paper. After all the stories have been shared with the group and the potatoes put back into the box, students are asked to find their potato as quickly as possible, explaining the unique characteristics that helped them do so.

Discussion can look at why it might be important to develop self-reflective abilities, and examine the relationship between self-awareness and effective functioning. Students will be asked to identify someone they know or a character in a book or movie that exemplifies highly developed self-awareness and to describe the characteristics of that person. The group facilitator / instructor will then repeat that the development of self-awareness will be the goal and content of the work of this group.

Subsequent lessons will include activities such as those described in the next few paragraphs. The books in the Instructor Resources section of the bibliography contain a variety of exercises and activities that might be adapted and used for subsequent group meetings. Objectives during the next few group sessions will be to continue creating experiences within the group that will help students learn more about their inner reactions and reality, increasing their self-awareness.

Cooperative games and activities can build connection and trust among group members and help students to discover new aspects of themselves and others. The following activity, which can help students share and get to know each other on a meaningful level, is adapted from Kessler, (2000, pp. 9-10). Students are asked to bring with them to the group an object that symbolizes something important in their lives. Each student then tells the group the story of what their object represents to them. Another way to structure this activity is for students to bring the object to the group in a bag without showing it to anyone. The bags are given to the instructor who then displays all the objects on a table. One by one each student will select the object that appeals to him/her and briefly describe it. The student who brought in that object then identifies him/herself and tells the story of what the object represents for her/him.

Another activity that can contribute to increased self-awareness, involves having each student develop a personal life history time-line (see Capaccione, 1979, pp. 36-37). This activity begins with some moments of reflection in which students take inventory of important events and experiences in their lives and the associated feelings. A line drawn horizontally across the paper is labeled with dates, beginning with the student's year of birth on the extreme left and the current year on the extreme right. Events are recorded above the line, while the inner reality of feelings, thoughts, and reactions are recorded below the line. This exercise can contribute to the student's sense of psychological continuity through time, another important component of an individual's self-concept. (Gallup, 1998) However, it is important to keep in mind that students who have suffered significant trauma or loss may have a very hard time with or reject this activity. The instructor should be attentive to how students react to this activity and let students know it is fine to include some historical events and omit others.

The following activity is one that may help students understand the complex and at times contradictory influences that are integrated into a person's self-concept. This 'self map' is a way of graphically looking at this process of self-integration. To begin this activity, each student should list adjectives that describe what she/he is like in a variety of social contexts:

• with friends...
• with parents...
• in the classroom...
• in your neighborhood…
• with members of the opposite sex…
• when you're alone…
Each adjective should then be placed in the appropriate location on the 'self map' (see illustration below) to indicate the relative importance / centrality of that characteristic.

(figure available in print form)

This next activity can also help students examine the contradictory messages they receive about 'being yourself' on the path toward developing a self-concept and a personal value system. The activity consists of asking the group to fill out a grid (see Appendix III) which delineates the mixed messages young people receive about a variety of things such as love, sex, education, drugs and alcohol, and so on. As students share their completed grids with the group, discussion can focus on the pressures and confusions resulting from conflicting social messages.

Various activities use art to represent the inner world of feelings. One example involves coloring in the outline of a person. Give each student 12 markers and ask them to make a key in the corner of the page, associating each color with an emotion. Each student then colors within the outline to depict the nature of his/her own feelings, whether happy, sad, angry, proud, shy, etc. In this activity students are able to represent which feelings are buried, which closer to the surface, feelings that mask others, etc. Another example is the 'self pie'. Students draw a circle and divide it into segments. Each segment is labeled with an attribute, characteristic or behavior such as, 'sense of humor', 'like to be the center of attention', 'shy', 'good dancer', etc. The size of each 'slice' of the 'self pie' represents the relative importance of the attribute it represents.

Also incorporated into the group sessions will be opportunities for students to administer inventories to themselves or partners as a way of identifying their own personality characteristics, social style, personal values and learning styles. For example, inventories might be administered to introduce students to the various learning styles and help students explore whether they have a predominantly auditory, visual, kinesthetic, tactile or multisensory learning style. A variety of inventories are contained in the books listed in the Instructor Resources section of the bibliography and described in the annotations. These inventories are designed to help students identify and compare their likes and dislikes, personality traits such as introversion / extroversion, optimism / pessimism, needs and expectations in friendship, communication style, etc. They can be used to help students define unique aspects of themselves and one another, identifying differences and commonalities.

Lesson VI

Objectives

• To build on and reinforce each student's understanding of the inner and outer self.
• To encourage creativity and a nonverbal connection with the inner world.

Materials

• Cigar boxes. Usually made of wood and covered with paper, with a flip top, measuring approximately 8"x 6"x 3".
• A variety of magazines containing images that students identify with.
• Art materials: markers, paints, crayons, glitter, feathers, etc.
• Be creative: fabric scraps, ribbons, fabric flowers, shells, small plastic figures of people or animals, other interesting objects.
By this sixth lesson, students will be ready to begin an art project, the purpose of which is to help them synthesize what they are learning. Each student will begin creating a 'me box', an art project using symbolic representations of the student's inner and outer selves. In addition to the materials above being available, students should be encouraged to bring in objects or photos which represent personal qualities or characteristics, talents, experiences, memories, beliefs, events or people which are important to them. Images, words or objects representing the student's social self would decorate the exterior of a cigar box, while things reflecting the 'inner me' would decorate the interior of the box. Creating this box is a long-term project and will not be completed during this session. Time should be available during subsequent sessions to continue this project.

By its short-term nature, this group experience will be merely a beginning, a brief introduction to the life-long process of developing self-awareness. It would be helpful to have a variety of books addressing issues related to the topic of 'getting to know yourself' on display during group meetings and available for loan to students. (See Student Resources bibliography.) It will also be important for the group facilitator to involve parents in this experience by explaining in the letter to parents the goals and objectives of the group. (See Appendix I for a sample, which should be adapted to suit the educational level of the parent population.) As mentioned earlier, parental permission is needed for students to participate in the group and parental understanding of the intent and content of the group experience can help parents to discuss related topics with their child. The Parent Resources bibliography should accompany the parent letter; these books might be placed on display in the school library during the period when the group is being conducted.

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Concluding Activities

In ending a group experience such as this one it is important for group members to process and prepare by looking back over the course of the group's life, reflecting on what has been learned and its meaning. It is helpful to talk about and anticipate the final session in the weeks that precede it. As the group ends, some discussion should focus on the life-long process of self-reflection that the group has begun together. Students should discuss pastimes or activities they can engage in that will help them maintain connection with and awareness of their inner thoughts and feelings, and help them to continue the work begun in the group. At this time, the keeping of a journal can be discussed. Several examples, using both words and artistic images, appear in the bibliography and should be available for students to look at. At the session before the group's last session, the group should discuss and reflect on themes and issues that were important for each participant. Students can be asked to discuss what they have learned, what was the most fun, what things they will continue to think about, and what they will miss most. Group members might be asked to complete the following thought: "I used to think of myself as ... now I think of myself as…". Each member of the group might respond aloud, giving the entire group a sense of the changes and growth experienced by each of them. During this session, the group should plan something special for the final group meeting.

At the last session, students should be encouraged to talk about their feelings as the group ends. An evaluation (Appendix IV, or refer to Peterson, 1995, p. 196-7 for sample evaluations) might be distributed to students, asking them to describe their thoughts and feelings about the group experience.

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Notes

1. According to Gallup (1998), "The realization that you are both similar to and different from others is what gradually gives rise to and serves to define the major parameters of your identity." (p.241) Elkind (1998) also describes the critically important role played by the principles of differentiation and integration, (that is, discovering how much one shares with and differs from others), in the process of developing one's self-concept.

2. Sternberg (1998) sees this realistic self-appraisal as the first step in the application of self-awareness.

3. An extremely comprehensive 12-point list of group guidelines is contained in Peterson, 1995, p. 19.

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Appendix I

Dear Parent,

Your child has been recommended by his/her teacher to participate in a discussion group that I will be running at school. The purpose of this group is to give students an opportunity to learn more about themselves by talking with peers about their thoughts, feelings and ideas. In this group they will learn how they are like other people, what makes them special and uniquely themselves, and will discover a feeling of pride and confidence in being themselves.

Early adolescence is a stressful, difficult time. Children go through dramatic physical changes that really transform how they see themselves and how the world sees them. In addition to the obvious physical changes, young teens are developing sexually, mentally, emotionally and socially. Their social world becomes very important at this time and confusing too, as they face complicated situations, decision, choices and pressures.

The teenage years are a time when young people try to define and understand themselves. It is a time of many questions: what makes me who I am?, is it okay to be me?, where do I fit in?, where am I heading in life?. Teens who know themselves and can talk about their feelings are able to cope better with those feelings. They are able make healthier, more careful decisions, to understand others and communicate better. I hope that being part of this group will help them on that path.

The group will meet once weekly during the next marking period, during music or art class. If you and your son/daughter decide that s/he will participate, please sign the permission slip below and return it to me as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please call me at ___-____.

_____(Name of student)____ has my permission to participate in the group.

(Parent signature) (Date)

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Appendix II

Things that matter to me...

1. The qualities I look for in a friend are........
2. The qualities I like most in myself are........
3. I feel comfortable with people who are........
4. I am hurt when someone........
5. I trust people who........
6. I feel annoyed by people who........
7. People make me happy when they..........
8. I feel closest to a person when..........
9. People like me most when I..........
10. The thing I enjoy doing most is...........

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Appendix III

(chart available in print form)

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Appendix IV

Feedback

It helps us improve things when you tell us what you think. Please answer honestly and don't sign your name.

• I'm glad I was part of this group because…..
• What I didn't like about the group…..
• The best thing we did in the group was…..
• People in the group treated me…..
• People in the group treated each other…..
• I will remember…..
• I would / wouldn't recommend this group to a friend because…….
• The most important thing I learned from being in this group……..
• I still have questions about…..
• I will miss……

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Annotated Bibliography

Reading List

Ackerman, Brian P, Izard, Carroll E. Motivation. In Sternberg, Robert, J (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence. New York, NY: McMillan Publishing Co., 1994 This article explores the nature of motivation, including the relationship between motivation and emotions and the important role played by a person's sense of self-efficacy in the development of motivation.

Blos, Peter. On Adolescence. New York: The Free Press, 1962 Classic psychoanalytic work on adolescence and adolescent development.

Elkind, David. All Grown Up and No Place to Go. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1984 Examines the social pressures on teenagers to deal with adult issues as a result of social changes in what Elkind terms "post modern" society. Written from the perspective of developmental psychology, the book includes a clear review of the developmental issues and needs of adolescence, emphasizing the important role played in the lives of teens by parents and other significant adults.

Gallup, G.G. Self Awareness and the Evolution of Social Intelligence. Behavioral Processes, 42(2-3), 1998, 239-247 Examining the ways in which social interactions effect and contribute to sense of identity, this article makes the point that as one compares and contrasts one's self with others, one's sense of self is defined, and one's ability to understand others increases.

Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind. New York, NY: Basic Books, 1983 Broadening the concept of human intelligence, this book presents Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. Exploring each of the seven intelligences in depth, it includes a chapter on the personal intelligences and the development of the sense of self through the life span.

Gardner, Howard. Intelligence Reframed. New York, NY: Basic Books, 1999 Revisiting his theory of multiple intelligences, Gardner updates it with the introduction of new intelligences, including existential, spiritual, naturalist and moral. Two chapters of special interest for educators deal with the application of Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences in schools.

Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1995 Originating from his concern about the "disintegration of civility" among youth, Goleman has undertaken to explore the effects of the emotions on mental and social functioning, addressing the question: in what way can we influence the development of our young to help them fare better in life. Goleman develops a definition of emotional functioning, which is positively adaptive or 'intelligent' and examines opportunities for parents and educators to teach the emotional and social competencies, which enhance emotional intelligence. He closes with compelling data about the emotionally troubled state of youth worldwide, making a strong case for the importance of intervention.

Kessler, Rachael. The Soul of Education. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2000 Prompted by concern about the sense of alienation and the violent, self-destructive behavior of young people, Kessler explores ways to restore depth, meaning and 'soul' to education.

Mayer, John D., Salovey, Peter. Emotional Intelligence. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 9(3), 1989, 185-211 Presenting a framework for the theory of emotional intelligence, this article describes the attributes that constitute emotional intelligence, and discusses the role played by emotional intelligence in a person's mental health.

Mayer, John D., Salovey, Peter. The Intelligence of Emotional Intelligence. Intelligence, 17(4), 1993, 433-442 In response to critics of their theory, Mayer and Salovey make the case that the components of emotional intelligence are truly reflective of mental aptitude or intelligence.

Sternberg, R. J., Spear - Swerling, L. Personal Navigation. In, Ferrari, Michel D. (Ed); Sternberg, Robert J. (Ed); et al. Self-Awareness: Its Nature and Development. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1998 This article identifies and describes the personal attributes that contribute to a person having a clear sense of direction and plan of action in life. Emphasizes the importance of self-understanding, both intellectual and emotional.

Wood, Chip. Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4-14. Greenfield, MA: Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc., 1994 A developmental guide to children ages 4 through 14, written by an educator. Examines physical, social, cognitive and language development year by year, with a practical look at the impact specific developmental needs have in the classroom and on curriculum.

Instructor Resources

Bisignano, Judy; McElmurry, Mary Anne. The Changing Years: My Relationships With Others. Carthage, IL: Good Apple, Inc., 1987 This workbook contains activities intended to help young adolescents strengthen their understanding of themselves and improve peer and family relationships. Includes inventories which identify personality traits, communication styles, values, likes / dislikes, needs etc. Also contains exercises which help students understand the social pressures to conform and fit in.

Capacchione, Lucia. The Creative Journal: The Art of Finding Yourself. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1979 This book guides the reader through art and writing journal exercises. Contains material that can be adapted for use with teenagers.

Guttormson, Lorraine; Roberts, Gail C. You and School: A Survival Guide for Adolescence. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing, 1990 This self-help workbook is full of activities and questionnaires, which guide students to examine their relationship to school and to understand their learning strengths and styles. Includes tips and techniques for improving listening, writing, organization, study and test-taking skills, and time management.

Hipp, Earl. Feed Your Head: Some Excellent Stuff on Being Yourself. Center City, MN: Hazelden Educational Materials, 1991 Addresses a multiplicity of issues affecting young teens. Especially helpful sections on awareness of feelings, the consequences of trying to escape feelings and on 'self-talk'. Book's design and illustrations make it easy to read.

Hobday, Angela; Ollier, Kate. Creative Therapy with Children and Adolescents. Atascadero,CA:Impact Publishers, Inc., 1999 This helpful book contains more than 100 activities intended for use in therapeutic work with children and teens. Activities especially relevant and useful for this unit are contained in the chapters entitled "Getting to Know You", "Feelings", and "Becoming Less Stressed".

Kincher, Jonni. Psychology for Kids: 40 Fun Tests That Help You Learn About Yourself. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., 1995 Contains personal style inventories designed to measure and examine attitudes, opinions, beliefs, feelings and traits. Includes inventories on optimism / pessimism, introversion / extraversion, learning styles, and looks at body typology, body language, handwriting and doodle analysis, and much more.

Peterson, Jean Sunde. Talk with Teens About Feelings, Family, Relationships, and the Future. Minneapolis, MN: 1995 This is an excellent, comprehensive guide for adults who lead counseling or discussion groups for teens. Beginning with a section which addresses organizational and process issues, the book then presents fifty guided discussions on the topics contained in the title.

Sark. Sark's Play! Book and Journal. A Place to Dream While Awake. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1993 A creative approach to the journal format, this book contains interesting self-reflective exercises that could be modified for use with students.

Shandler, Sara. Ophelia Speaks. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999 To quote the book's introduction, this book presents a powerful "view from within the whirlwind" of the lives of teenage girls. Frank, self- disclosing essays from a vast array of teenage contributors present a very intense view of girls grappling with the issues that define their experience as young women at the turn of the 21st century.

Shapiro, Lawrence E. Tricks of the Trade, 101 Psychological Techniques to Help Children Grow and Change. Plainview, NY: Childswork/Childsplay, 1994 Written for mental health professionals, this book contains many excellent techniques and activities that can be adapted for working with small groups.

Sutton, James D. 101 Ways to Make your Classroom Special. Pleasanton, TX: Friendly Oaks Publications, 1999 This book is filled with activities and lessons designed to keep kids engaged and feeling good about themselves in the classroom, many of which can be adapted for use with small groups. Especially useful is Chapter 4, "Understanding Ourselves and Others".

Student Resources

Eldon, Kathy (Ed.). The Journey is the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1997 This book presents an intensely powerful visual chronicle as a means of examining oneself and reacting to one's life. More suitable for high school than middle school students.

Fox, Annie. Can You Relate? Real World Advice for Teens on Guys, Girls, Growing up, and Getting Along. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing Inc., 2000 Full of advice on relationships of all types, this book starts with the premise that one's relationship with oneself underlies and affects the nature of all other relationships. Readers go through the process of looking at their strengths, weaknesses, self-image, coping and communication styles, etc.

Gabor, Don. Speaking Your Mind in 101 Difficult Situations. New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, 1994 Written for adolescents, this book advises readers on knowing oneself, one's feelings and becoming an assertive communicator.

Hipp, Earl. Feed Your Head: Some Excellent Stuff on Being Yourself. Center City, MN: Hazelden Educational Materials, 1991 (See description under Instructor Resources)

Hunter, Latoya. The Diary of Latoya Hunter: My First Year in Junior High. New York: Vintage Books, 1992 Written by a thirteen year old, this presents one type of journal that a young person can keep to chronicle and react to his / her life.

Kaufman, Gershen and Raphael, Lev. Stick Up for Yourself! Every Kid's Guide to Personal Power and Positive Self Esteem. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., 1990 Focusing on the development of personal power and positive self-esteem, this book begins with the statement "you can't stick up for yourself if you don't know who you are". It then takes readers through the steps of understanding feelings, hopes and needs as a route to feeling secure, self-confident and behaving assertively.

Kincher, Jonni. Psychology for Kids: 40 Fun Tests That Help You Learn About Yourself. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., 1995 Fun for students to look through; see description in Instructor's Resources section.

Krantz, Linda. Through My Eyes: A Journal For Teens. Flagstaff, AZ: Rising Moon, 1998 This journal - format book encourages readers to respond to a vast variety of thought provoking questions and thoughts. Opportunity for teens to explore how they feel about themselves, friends and family.

Virtue, Doreen. Your Emotions, Yourself: A Guide to Your Changing Emotions. Los Angeles, CA: RGA Publishing Group, 1996 Starting with the question "am I normal to feel this way?", this book examines the emotional and social changes of early adolescence, offering information, support and suggestions to young female readers.

Parent Resources

Pruitt, David B., MD, (Ed.). Your Adolescent: Emotional, Behavioral and Cognitive Development from Early Adolescence Through the Teen Years. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishing, 1999 This excellent guide for parents and teachers outlines normal developmental milestones and needs, describing the changes and challenges, which characterize adolescence. A helpful chapter differentiates normal behaviors from those that indicate emotional, psychological, behavioral or developmental problems.

Wolf, Anthony E. Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? New York, NY: The Noonday Press, 1991 Discussing the changes and pressures that characterize adolescence, this book addresses the developmental and psychological underpinnings of adolescent behavior. Offers practical strategies on handling conflict, managing parent - teen communication, and navigating through school problems, sex, drug and alcohol use, and a myriad of other challenges.

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