A child going to a wealthy, comparatively safe suburban school will receive an infinitely better education than one unlucky enough to be attending a poor inner-city school. The best and most experienced teachers tend to graduate towards the best schools, while inner city schools often have the most inexperienced educators.
Together with the lack of resources and often poor teaching skills in low-income schools, there are also discipline problems. While violent incidents at suburban schools such as Columbine High School make headlines, there is a constant stream of violence occurring at many inner-city schools. The appearance of metal detectors, armed police officers patrolling the corridors and a general siege mentality is not conducive to a sound education. If a child is worried about her safety at school it is unlikely for her to learn very much. A cycle of poverty continues as many students in low-income school become parents and those children in turn continue with within the same system.
In advanced Western countries, most notably the United States, adolescence is an ill-defined period between the freedoms of childhood and the responsibilities of adulthood. There is a slow development from dependency to independence, and from accepting the views of adults to establishing a personal point of view. (Lindsay, 1983). It must be noted that in the United States adolescence appears to be an invention of the last century. (Raphael, 1988) In most non-Western countries cultures use "puberty rites", which may be loosely termed initiation ceremonies, to formally mark and symbolize the transition from childhood to adulthood.
But in Western countries, as they transformed from being agricultural based economies in which children had an important economic function within the family to industrial societies in which education far beyond puberty was necessary, the "adolescent" was born. Simply defined, an adolescent is a person who is going/has gone through puberty, but who has yet to take on the responsibilities of the adult world. An adolescent is, in the eyes of the world, a child trapped inside an adult's body. It is the contradiction between these two roles - adult and child - that has caused many scholars to characterize adolescence as a time of "storm and stress".
The psychologist Erik Erikson, whose Childhood and Society (1950) has become something of a standard work on human development, identifies "Eight Stages of Development", of which 'Adolescence' is the sixth stage. Erikson argued that identity versus role confusion is the psychosocial crisis faced by the person at this time, and that the predominant social settings are peer groups and out-groups. The favorable outcome of this crisis and setting is that "the individual develops an ego identity - a coherent sense of self." (Erikson, 1950) This is a very useful model for the teacher to understand, as it covers the main problems and strengths of this age-group. Too much stress on the gloom of the former over the brightness of the latter leads many educators to see the pedagogy of this age-range as merely a matter of avoiding crisis rather than engendering positive development.
During adolescence human beings are motivated strongly by the desire to initiate and maintain relationships on a group level. (Juvonen,