n Journal of Educational Studies - Catching up with the fast lane : a focus on societal change and educational reform in the life of the adolescent




Adolescents living in the 21st century find themselves in a changing environment. The changing life world of the adolescents places them in the fast lane of living. They need not only cope with their own development but also with the challenges of societal change and educational reform. In the research on which this article is based, particular emphasis was on current adolescents, who are also known as generation Y. Developed and developing countries around the world have revised their school curricula in recent years to take into account the knowledge and skills needed by earners in a globalising 21st century. One of the most dramatic changes in the lifeworld of the South African adolescent has been the implementation of Curriculum 2005 and outcomes-based education. The general aim of the research was to investigate the role of societal change and educational reform in the life of the adolescent. By way of a literature study and a qualitative investigation into the problems or issues experienced by adolescents, this article describes how societal change and educational reform change and influence the life world of the adolescent. The research highlights the role of parents and teachers in their attempts to support adolescents in coping with the demands and challenges presented by societal change and educational reform. This paper also reports the findings of this research and makes recommendations to answer questions, namely: how can teachers and parents assist adolescents to cope with societal change and educational reform?


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