63327 - Psychological Problems in Adolescence: Evaluation and Intervention
63327 - Psychological Problems in Adolescence: Evaluation and Intervention
Faculty / School:
107 - Facultad de Educación
1.1. Aims of the course
As part of this specialty, the course addresses the theoretical and practical aspects with which a counsellor should be familiar, and which he/she should apply in order to carry out his/her task in a context featuring pupils of secondary education with psychological problems.
1.2. Context and importance of this course in the degree
A brief presentation of the course
“Learning Problems and Behavioral Disorders in Adolescence: Detection and Intervention” is one of the optional courses in the University Masters Degree in Secondary Education.
It counts toward a total of 6 credits, and aspires to provide students with basic skills and tools to help them to detect psychological problems within an educational context associated with behavioral, emotional or social disorders that appear more frequently in adolescence.
Based on this knowledge of the origin, characteristics and evolution of such disorders, the students learn to develop capabilities that enable them to interact and intervene individually and in the classroom – in coordination with the tutor – to provide assistance to the affected pupils, and to conduct interviews with their families.
The course also seeks to transmit knowledge regarding community services that address these problems, in order to efficiently direct those pupils who are in need of such assistance towards them.
To achieve these capabilities, as a point of departure we use active methodologies that encourage a quality learning experience that is both applied and reflective, in groups and on an individual basis. The course covers a wide range of problems and situations which, due to their nature, are not addressed in other courses pertaining to the Masters Degree syllabus.
The pupils’ adolescent condition occasionally leads to internal and external psychological problems associated with learning difficulties, and can generate obstacles to personal development in a series of diverse contexts. The counsellor thus needs to have specific knowledge in order to deal with this educational reality.
It is also important to identify elements within the educational, community, and family environment that can help these pupils advance their learning and development, and/or improve their treatment. The counsellor plays a pivotal role in improving the mental health of this population within a school context: he/she serves as one more essential link in the community at the service of these pupils.
More specifically, this course intends to provide students with the necessary resources for them to deploy one of the general capabilities associated with their role as future counsellors, a capability that is particularly important for this specialty: “To be able to identify and support pupils with behavioral, emotional, or social difficulties by applying in-depth knowledge of the resources available in the educational system and in the community at large”.
1.3. Recommendations to take this course
It is recommended that all students who want to acquire skills to deal with adolescents presenting psychological problems that affect their emotional development and learning progress should take this course. This is fundamental training that qualifies you to address the psychological and educational specifics of pupils in this age range, enrolled in secondary schools.
BASIC AND GENERAL CAPABILITIES
CG02 - To foster a spirit of harmonic coexistence in the classroom that encourages and stimulates learning. To support pupil development on all levels, orienting them academically and professionally on the basis of their psychological, social and family characteristics.
CG03 - To critically, reflectively support and supervise the learning process in pupils on the basis of the most relevant principles and theories regarding their learning process and how it can be strengthened.
CB7 - To know how to apply the knowledge one has acquired, as well as one’s capacity for resolving problems in new or unaccustomed situations that can arise within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to one’s area of study.
CB8 - To be able to assimilate and apply knowledge when faced with the complex situation of having to emit judgments on the basis of incomplete or limited information associated with the ethical and social responsibility of applying one’s expertise and sound judgment.
CT01 - The capability of reflection and making decisions on a personal, intellectual and social level
CT02 - The capability of integrating and applying knowledge that enables one to form judgments and resolve problems
CT03 - The development of self-esteem
CT04 - The capacity of self-control
CT05 - The development of self-motivation
CT06 - The development of the capability of autonomous learning
CT07 - The capability of communicating ideas and argumentation in front of several different kinds of audiences
CT08 - The capacity for empathy
CT09 - The capability of exerting leadership
CT10 - The capacity to work in a team situation with colleagues and other people
CEOE01 – To know pupils’ psycho-pedagogical characteristics in order to be able to evaluate them and to draft the required reports
CEOE02 – To be familiar with measures in favor of respect for diversity that can be adopted in order to provide appropriate counsel in each case
CEOE04 – To develop the necessary abilities and techniques to be able to adequately counsel families regarding their children’s learning and development process
CEOE13 – To relate education to its surroundings; to grasp the educational role played by the family and the community in the acquisition of skills and abilities in the respect for rights and liberties, sensitivity to equal rights and opportunities for women and men, equal treatment and non-discrimination of people with disabilities or any other personal or social circumstance that can present an obstacle to their full social and educational inclusion.
CEOE20 - To orient pupils in getting to know themselves, gradually defining themselves as individuals and adjusting their life project, as well as in the adoption of academic and professional decisions with the purpose of facilitating their integration into the job market
CEOE26 - To coordinate actions in the neighborhood with all education agents and other services, with particular emphasis on social, health and employment services, to achieve a truly coordinated intervention
CEOE27 - To know and to have a correct appraisal of current psycho-pedagogical diagnosis techniques
CEOE28 - To evaluate interventions that have been carried out, and, as a consequence, to propose changes to improve them in the future
CEOE29 - To know how to implement preventive community outreach programs
2.2. Learning goals
To pass this course, the student should demonstrate that he/she has attained the following learning results:
- The student should be familiar with the psychological characteristics of adolescents, and the psycho-social problems that can emerge in this stage of human development.
- The student should be able to understand and apply fundamental concepts regarding youth psychopathology (classifications, diagnostics, evaluation, and intervention).
- The student should be familiar with the most frequent psycho-pathological diagnostic categories in the secondary education stage, and should be able to provide explanations of specific behavior traits or phenomena.
- The student can identify the objectives and resources most implied in this area; he/she, in the role of school counsellor, should be able to plan prevention, evaluation, and intervention procedures when faced with specific psycho-social or psycho-pathological problems.
- The student should be able to collaborate in developing prevention, evaluation or treatment interventions in and outside the classroom, including the pupil’s family and/or other clinical or educational professionals.
2.3. Importance of learning goals
A teacher’s activity in secondary school takes place in a context marked by diversity, On the one hand, this implies that ordinary classes contain pupils with a great variety of divergent learning rhythms and problems; on the other hand, it leads to the establishment of supplementary class groups for pupils with special educational needs.
In this context, the counsellor plays a fundamental role in providing specific support for pupils in ordinary class groups, or for pupils who have a profile requiring specialized attention.
The professional counsellor should thus be able to identify conditions that generate or maintain social and personal obstacles: the key, in this sense, is to grasp personal factors that may underlie such difficulties.
This course thus covers the personal conditions associated with the psycho-pathological profiles one may encounter at the secondary education level, and which can be associated with development and learning problems. Teachers and tutors thus learn to identify resources and opportunities that encourage progress and improvement in these types of pupils.
3. Assessment (1st and 2nd call)
3.1. Assessment tasks (description of tasks, marking system and assessment criteria)
Types of exams:
The students shall be evaluated on a mixed basis: gradable activities shall take place during the course, with a final exam at the end.
Gradable activities during the academic year. Students shall carry out the following activities in the course of the academic year:
- Group reports on the problem-solving of concrete cases, and on further materials based on other types of supports (concrete case examples, videos or archives). Each group shall prepare two to five reports on cases of pupils with psycho-pathological problems; these can be completed with a group presentation. Attendance and participation in class are essential in order to prepare and elaborate these reports.
- A class debate or a public presentation on one of the activities that has been carried out.
Final exam: A written test on the theoretical portion, with multiple-choice items or questions requiring brief answers. For all students who have not completed the gradable activities during the course, along with those who present themselves for the third test round and subsequent rounds, the final exam shall consist of a theoretical portion and a practical portion.
The students should be able to identify the task’s main elements according to the learning results; in other words, they should be able to identify the psycho-pathological problem, recognize which evaluation tests have been applied, along with the information extracted from each one of them, and the type of intervention or psychological treatment which has been applied. They should be able to plan their educational intervention in coordination with other agents.
The students should be able to relate the pupil’s academic level and personal development with the psycho-pathological problem in question.
To answer the concrete questions and respond to concrete situations, the students should be able to apply the theoretical knowledge imparted by the professor or included in the course reading syllabus.
The students should independently seek to broaden their knowledge about the subject by finding, selecting, and quoting relevant information.
The students should display at least a functional grasp of the featured content. Thus, they should be able to identify the type of educational need associated with the case, as well as the factors that have played a role in the case’s evolution. They should likewise be able to justify their choice of intervention method(s).
The students should redact a written report of minimal formal quality, in which they adequately sequence an order of ideas exposed in a clear, orderly fashion and differentiate data, theoretical concepts and personal judgment in a clear, easily comprehensible style.
Group discussion and debate
These assignments lead to a public presentation and debate among peers: each group assignment is presented by a representative (all students should carry out a practical intervention during the course), making reference to the most relevant aspects, the concrete cases, and the group’s observations. Quality of presentation shall be evaluated: clarity, relevance, coherence, as well as depth of analysis, participation and debate regarding the ideas expounded by other colleagues, in the face of which a capacity should be demonstrated to expand one’s contribution, provide examples, or relativize one’s own opinions.
Final exam. The final exam is passed if the following criteria are met:
- The student should display at least a functional grasp of the psycho-social problems and psycho-pathological disorders that are most frequent at the secondary education level, and should be able to distinguish them from similar disorders while establishing comparisons.
- The student should be able to relate them with a pupil’s educational development, proposing an explanatory hypothesis in concrete cases, identifying the role exerted by personal, educational, and family variables in their influence on the disorder in question.
- The student should likewise be able to identify and analyze the most frequently used diagnostic tools, along with proposed treatments, displaying knowledge of their objectives and the implied agents.
- The student should recognize the role played by the counsellor and by the professor and/or tutor in this process: their role as agents of support for pupils with psychological problems or psycho-pathological disorders in the process of evaluation and in the case of clinical intervention.
- The student should be able to carry out these tasks in an organized, orderly fashion, resulting in a clear, easily comprehensible written text.
Level of requirements (qualification criteria and requirements to pass the course)
The final grade shall be the sum of grades obtained on the final exam and the gradable practical activities, with the following weighting:
- Participation in class and in gradable activities during the academic year: 50% (5 points out of 10 on the final grade). These activities shall be graded according to the criteria exposed above. To be graded and included in the final grade, these gradable activities need to be turned in on the dates established by the professors.
- Final exam: 50% of the final grade.
To pass the course, all students are required to take the final exam (graded according to the criteria specified above). Since the exam is on an individual basis and final, if a student obtains a grade superior to the average obtained with the practical activities, he/she shall be assigned the superior grade.
To pass this course, each student is required to obtain the “Pass” score on the final exam and on the gradable activities.
Global test and second round
All students who have not carried out or passed the gradable activities during the course (which have a significant weight on the final grade) shall be graded according to the evaluation norm established by the University of Zaragoza in one sole exam composed of two parts: theoretical and practical. The exam shall take place on the official dates established by the University. The final grade of this exam shall be the average of both parts: a minimum of 4 points out of 10 is necessary in each one of them in order to build an average. If a student scores less than 4 on one of the parts, or the average of the two parts is below 5, he/she does not pass the course.
The second round shall be in the form of a global final exam. Those students who have passed the gradable activities during the academic year will be able to maintain their grade and carry it over as part of the final grade averaged with the final theoretical exam.
Fifth and sixth round (with a committee of jurors)
Fifth and sixth round students shall be evaluated according to the same system as the others.
At any rate, in order to be able to teach the course content and earn credit for the skills it imparts, the student may opt for one of the three following alternatives:
1) Whenever possible, the student should attend the class sessions imparted by one of the members of the juror committee, or an equivalent course on the same subject: the committee of jurors bears the responsibility for the student’s final evaluation.
2) The student attends the class sessions in which he/she is enrolled: the committee of jurors shall be responsible for his/her evaluation.
3) The student shall agree with the committee of jurors upon the type of evaluation activity to be carried out (either a global test or evaluable activities during the course) and upon how each condition should be applied concretely.
Important. Total or partial fraud or plagiarism in any of the evaluation tests will lead to the subject failing with the minimum grade, in addition to the disciplinary sanctions that the guarantee commission adopts for these cases.
4. Methodology, learning tasks, syllabus and resources
4.1. Methodological overview
The learning process designed for this course is based on the following principles:
Each student individually manages his/her own learning, combined with work in groups, during the entire academic year.
The course work shall take place individually, in small groups, or in class groups; theoretical aspects shall be dealt with in a large group.
The point of departure is active learning through work on concrete cases in small groups: the students apply the theoretical aspects presented by the professor to real-life cases and document the connection between theory and practice by citing corresponding bibliographical resources. This forms the basis of written reports that are orally presented and debated upon in class.
Whenever possible, this work shall be complemented with the analysis of real-life cases of which the group members might have knowledge.
In the course of the academic year, the professor shall provide tutorship to guide the students, according to a schedule established in joint agreement with them.
The approach, methodology and evaluation of this guide is prepared to be the same in any teaching scenario. They will be adjusted to the socio-sanitary conditions of each moment, as well as to the indications given by the competent authorities.
4.2. Learning tasks
The program designed to help the student attain the course goals includes the following activities:
Work in groups is emphasized in order to resolve the presented cases: they are read individually, then worked upon as a group. Discussion and debate serve as learning tools. The observation, detection and analysis of cases of which the students have personal knowledge can likewise be included in this practical classroom activity.
The activities include:
A reflective analytical treatment of guided cases and other documents.
Presentation to the classroom with subsequent debate.
Lectures and round table discussions with specialists on the subject.
Time distribution of the learning activity
An overview of adaptive difficulties in adolescence and a psycho-pathological study of behavioral disorders
1. The body in adolescence.
- Sexual relations, sexual identity, choice of sexual object.
- Eating disorders.
- Sleep disturbances.
2. The problem of “acting out”:
- Escaping home, wandering, loitering. Delinquent behavior
- Violence in adolescence. Bullying and harassment.
- Psycho-pathological disorders in adolescence.
- Anxiety disorders.
- Depression, self-injury, and suicide attempts.
- Psychotic states. Autism. ADHD.
- Behavioral disorders and borderline personality.
- Addiction: social media, games, substance abuse, and alcohol consumption.
- The adolescent and his/her environment: relational aspects.
- The adolescent and the family.
- The adolescent and the group of peers. Urban tribes, gangs.
- Social insertion: the immigrant adolescent. Marginality.
4.4. Course planning and calendar
The calendar of classroom sessions and term paper submission deadlines shall be posted at the beginning of the academic year via the usual channels, including the faculty digital network (Anillo Digital Docente, ADD).