Adolescent WILL

‘Where is that book to be found in which the teacher can read what teaching is? The children themselves are this book! We should not learn to teach out of any other book than the one lying before us and consisting of the children themselves but in order to read this book, we need the widest possible interest in each individual child” – Rudolf Steiner


We must make it possible for young people to realise their purpose of their lives; to achieve what they mean to achieve. Modern world must prepare to receive from them what they alone can newly give.

First the youth has a longing or fascinating for some craft or work before he goes on to accomplish in it. Many times, certain figures of history will inspire in their journey. The urge to find a higher truth is very strong although it may be masked with antipathy and indifference. The youth turn against conventional forms of education as they do not find the truth they seek. When youth’s quest for truer forms of knowledge is frustrated it becomes rebellion against parents, training of schools, laws of the society, accepted morality, finds fault with custodians of culture.

Adolescent WILL also has an inner urge to delve in to ‘Power and Eroticism’ and appear too concerned with themselves (self-occupied), their pleasures and pain; it portrays a false impression of “no concern for the world”.

Adolescents struggle to formulate the questions which they are experiencing inwards, here teachers and mentors must help formulate for them. Teachers must not make a fool of themselves and must be a masters of their craft. Young people like to feel cleverer than their teachers. So education style for these young people must be taken up in bold and generous way.

We must not pour too much of ‘mass’ information rather we must teach them to question and raise their doubts on their learnings and bring a spirit of inquiry into their consciousness.

Teachers must bring “Verve or Schwung” to the children by developing their imagination, and out of good imagination develops good judgement. We should avoid to deal with intellect intellectually but to deal with it with imagination.

Adolescent phase is viewed by many educators as;

  • Simmering rebellion that needs to quelled
  • An illness that only time can cure
  • Preparation for college and work force

Such views lead many conventional educational philosophy and systems to approach educating teenagers like;

  • Armed camps
  • Treatment centers
  • Obedience schools

We should empathize with this natural adolescence phase and recognized it as;

  • Important stage of human development
  • Profound transformation taking place
  • Development of a powerful inner force
  • Forging their own identities
  • Fashioning their own values
  • Death of innocence of childhood (banishment from Eden)
  • End of buoyancy and brightness of childhood
  • Period of intense mourning
  • Bodily – ability to reproduce
  • Conceiving new thoughts or new vistas
  • Ideals are welling within, world has meaning, their own life has meaning
  • Feeling that they can make a difference in the world

Young people today starve for above nourishment. They are becoming cynical and passively accepting worldly views. They long for inspiration, for affirmation of their ideals and when this isn’t met, they become insufferably critical, self-absorbed or withdrawn.

A combination of current education systems and modern lifestyles is causing adverse effects on children across ages and especially more on adolescents like a general lack of curiosity, lack of focus, little foresight or hindsight, lack of compassion, rampant materialism, uneasiness with intimacy.

We must now create a conscious aim to nurture and encourage adolescent ideals, to satisfy the inner longing to finding meaning in the world and self.

By Capt. Preetham Madhukar

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