Challenges of growing up

29 Feb

My Year 9 students are currently midway through a concept study about Coming of Age.  As part of this unit, I want them to understand that while the coming of age journey does not look exactly the same for everyone, there are interesting points of commonality.

One text which I want to show them is an article entitled ‘Boys Behind Bars‘.  This article touches upon the circumstances that cause children to find themselves in juvenile detention and explores, in greater depth, what it is like to grow up behind bars.  I think students will find it interesting to be exposed to (what I hope) is an unfamiliar environment, while also coming to appreciate the points of similarity and difference between the boys’ experiences and their own.

I also want my students to listen to Cyrus Bezyan’s ‘What’s in a name?‘ podcast in which he explores the way in which personal and cultural identity impacted his experience of growing up in Australia.  I have a fairly multicultural class, and I think Bezyan’s experiences will prompt some interesting reflections by my students on their own lives and experiences.

Another interesting text is Benjamin Law’s article ‘What is Cool?‘  In this text, Law reflects on his adolescence, the importance of ‘being cool’ and the changes he now sees in himself and society when he reflects from the vantage of adulthood.

Through engaging with these texts, I am hopeful that my students will come to appreciate that coming of age/growing up is associated with the gleaning of knowledge and understanding.  I am also hopeful that they will recognise that growing up involves facing and overcoming challenges.


One Response to “Challenges of growing up”


  1. Experiences of growing up | Once uPUN a time... - March 5, 2016

    […] have written previously about texts that engage with the concept of coming of age.  I have since found a few more that I […]

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