The years of critical thinking.
The 9 – 12 age group are discovering their own enormous potential. They are at the critical thinking stage of their lives and as a matter of course they critically examine and focus on all which is presented to them. They are naturally self-involved; intent on finding out about themselves and their own positive abilities, but also learning to overcome the difficulties presented in relating socially to others. The key element at this stage is focussing on the specific.
These students are able to grasp more abstract concepts and thus fewer hands-on materials are required. However, geometry concepts and terminology appear to fascinate these critical thinkers and much of the traditional junior high school syllabus is covered during these years.
They have already learnt how to research and now tend to become more involved with in-depth exploring of topics of interest, covered in the Five Great Stories and other key time-lines. Individual and group projects are discussed, researched completed and then shared with others during presentations. To enhance this sensitive period of critical thinking, these presentations are evaluated by the group.
Moral development at this stage continues to be fostered with debates on moral issues. These children often act without thinking. Insisting that they take responsibility for their actions is necessary. Their tendency to be socially critical and verbally aggressive is an integrated part of their growth on their journey towards young adulthood.