A version of this article appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Erikson on Children under the headline “Hot off the presses.” More from this issue

In his new book, Professor Robert Halpern offers a sweeping critique of how we educate adolescents in our
country.

“High school learning as typically structured is just too fragmented, isolated, and abstract to meet young people’s developmental needs,” he writes in Youth, Education, and the Role of Society: Rethinking Learning in the High School Years.

Halpern suggests that learning in the teenage years needs to go beyond the school walls, requiring “a fundamentally different understanding of where learning can take place and the wholehearted participation of a variety of institutions and sectors of society.”

The book, published by Harvard Education Press in May, explores what developmentally appropriate learning experiences look like for adolescents, including how other countries structure learning for this age group. With this foundation, Halpern is able to articulate the social and cultural challenges that must be met to expand the educational opportunities available to our youth.

Halpern’s research and writing of the book was supported by a grant from The Herr Foundation.

Purchase the book