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Student 1 response.  G. Marcano

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In his ambitious Tedtalk, Laurence Lewars poses two primary questions to his adolescent peers. His two main questions were, “What do you see yourself doing fifteen years from now, followed up by, “ What would you be doing fifteen years from now if you could do absolutely anything?”. His questions address the development of self esteem, and dive into the topics of self belief and what he considers to be a lack of self fulfillment in teens. He ponders why adolescents such as himself are too insecure to talk about their aspirations and acknowledge that adolescence is a period marked by a struggle to find a sense of significance versus intense feelings of insecurity about their place in the world.

Lewars’ ted talk is directly aligned to themes of the development theorists’ perspective in the sixth chapter of Human Behavior: The Changing Life Life Course. Janet Kroger, like Lewars suggests that many societies social norms are clear about staying away from substance use, early unwed pregnancy and delinquency. The same societies are less clear about what constitutes a positive achievement and how exactly to go about achieving them.

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If I were to draw from just one theorist from our text on the life stage of adolescence, I would select Erikson. Erikson’s stage of Identity versus Role diffusion. Erikson describes adolescence as a stage of defining your sense of self and your role in the world. In order to find their unique place in the role, an adolescent has to participate in role experimentation. She/He has to explore different social interactions, groups and relationships in order to find a sense of self. According to Erikson, we create a “generalized other”, of how others are most likely going to respond to us. Adolescents learn who they are through this internal struggle of balancing who their parents, peers think they should be versus who they feel that they are and whom they desire to be.


Lewars’ survey is ambitious and thoughtful. I applaud him for being able to exercise the abstract thinking of Piaget’s formal operations. Constructively, I think that Lewars would benefit from always keeping in mind that his peers are in a stage of development where this type of thinking is still in its developmental phase. As Hall pointed out, his peers are going through a transitions full of storm and stress. His survey might benefit from interviewing those same adolescence further down the road in an “adult” stage of development. His survey seems to also be primary at his own school, or conducted through an internet survey. Not all adolescents in the world, have access to the World Wide Web.

If I were to answer Lewars questions as an adolescent, my answer to what I thought I would be doing would be, “ a psychologist”. My answer to what I what I think I would do if I can do anything, would be to be dancer. Now my answers to the same question would be to help others, by using my own experiences, life lessons, and formal education. And my answer to the same question if I could do absolutely anything, would be to help others through my own experiences, life lessons, and formal education minus the student loan debt all while dancing, maintaining my spirituality, a healthy family life and a level of contentment.

Hey, Lewars told me to aim for it all.


Please watch Laurence Lewars’ TED talk ” Questions Every Teenager Needs to be Asked”. Drawing from the theories presented in the Hutchison chapter on Adolescence (Chapter 6), please reflect on and answer the following (brief but not short answers):

According to developmental theorists, adolescence is a time when a person develops their first sense of self that is unique, independent from family expectations and “norms”, and reflects a set of beliefs, values. and ideas considered to be one’s own. Support your response to the following by drawing on one of the theorists for this stage of life and reflect on the importance and impact Laurence Lewars’ 2 main questions have on the development of this first “true” self in adolescence.

  1. What would you add to Lewars’ “action plan” for changing the adolescents perspectives based on his survey? What do you think hinders this change?
  2. How would you answer his two main questions now and then? What has changed?

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