Becoming Adult: How Teenagers Prepare For The World Of Work Paperback – Apr 6 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Are American teenagers getting the preparation they need to be ready for tomorrow's jobs? In a five-year study, psychologist and bestselling author Csikszentmihalyi (Flow; The Evolving Self; etc.) and sociologist Schneider (The Ambitious Generation) collected data on more than 1,000 middle- and high-school students across the country. Their findings: "The average teenager has quite positive educational, occupational and lifestyle expectations." About 80% expect to complete four years of college, and many hope for careers in the professionsAa pattern that holds across race, ethnic, class and gender lines; indeed, expectations among African-American, Hispanic and low-income youth tend to be higher than those of affluent whites. More troubling, though, is that teenagers generally lack realistic knowledge about their preferred careers, and schools don't necessarily help them develop the skills and attitudes that Csikszentmihalyi and Schneider believe will best prepare them for the rapidly changing workplace. Adolescents, they argue, need a solid foundation in math and science. They also need opportunities to experience "intense concentration in any activity that requires skill and discipline," and that teaches them to enjoy challenge. Individual projects and community internships, among other programs, provide such experiences, yet sadly, they are seldom available to lower-income families. The authors interpret their data clearly, discuss the importance of parental guidance and role modeling from other adults, and offer sensible recommendations for educational policy. Sure to be of major importance to educators and social scientists, this study will also benefit parents and general readers. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Csikszentmihalyi is best known for Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990), a book that popularized his research into happiness and personal fulfillment. He is also a coauthor of Talented Teenagers: The Roots of Success and Failure (1993). Schneider is the coauthor of another book that looked at young people, The Ambitious Generation: America's Teenagers, Motivated but Directionless. Now the authors evaluate the findings of a groundbreaking five-year survey to determine how adolescents learn about and choose careers. Investigators looked at how the family, peer groups, schooling and school activities, and the community (including the media) influence ideas and perceptions of school and work. They determined how young adults distinguish between work and play activities and, therefore, what factors contribute to enjoyable work. The authors then suggest ways schools and parents can help adolescents develop the "ability to seek engaging, challenging activities that promote productive adult lives." This advice will also be helpful to those in professions desperate to attract new entrants. David Rouse
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Having taken into account every variable conceivable, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and his team have translated five years of research pertaining to how young adults prepare for the future, into useful knowledge. They provide an understanding of how adolescents develop their attitudes, interests, skills, and expectations that ultimately enable them to move forward to successful and rewarding adult lives. The book reinforces the adolescent's need for guidance and support, not only from their families and schools, but the community at large. It is made clear that helping young people to establish goals is not nearly enough; they require extended opportunities to increase the skills necessary to meet their future adult career needs. Most importantly, becoming ADULT offers a means to an end. It serves not only as a tool for more effectively assisting adolescents to make the transitions from childhood to adulthood, or school to a productive adult career, such self-affirming guidance will help them to create meaning and satisfaction in their everyday life.
In light of their significance to the future of society, the habits and values of young people should be guided with the intent of attaining the most positive outcome for both. The authors do not profess to have all of the answers, but they do offer a sound foundation to build upon.
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