Fakultet pedagoških nauka

FAKULTET PEDAGOŠKIH NAUKA UNIVERZITETA U KRAGUJEVCU, JAGODINA Milana Mijalkovića 14, 35000 Jagodina, Tel/Faks: +381 (0)35 8223-805, Tel: +381 (0)35 8222-262


Download full text in PDF


Olja R. Milošević

DOI: 10.46793/pctja.19.350M
UDK: 37.031-053.6


Adolescence is a critical period of life and only if teachers understand its dynamic nature, are they able to identify students’ needs and to assist them in the process of growing up and learning. Students are motivated to learn when they see the relevance of the content and if they can find a connection between instruction and the demands of modern society. Therefore, instruction needs to provide an academic challenge and develop the life skills that students need in future. This paper presents findings from some small-scale qualitative research that was carried out with adolescent students and their teachers in two different educational institutions in Serbia. The research had two aims: to establish what competencies adolescent students consider important for their future and to discover how teachers attempt to address the needs of their students. In order to understand what young people view as important for the future, in-depth semi-structured interviews were carried out with 14 students. Indepth interviews with the teachers helped establish what steps teachers should take to assist the adolescents to develop life skills. The findings indicate that collaboration, critical thinking, and taking responsibility for learning are identified as areas that students need to develop in order to be successful in school and later in life.

Keywords: adolescence, affective skills, collaboration, critical thinking.


Barahal S. (2008.) Thinking about Thinking: Preservice teachers strengthen their thinking artfully. Phi Delta Kappan, 90 (4), 298‒302. https://doi.org/10.1177/003172170809000412

Black, R. W. (2009). English-Language Learners, Fan Communities, and 21st-Century Skills. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy Association, 52 (8), 688‒697. https://doi.org/10.1598/JAAL.52.8.4

Bridgstock, R. (2009) The graduate attributes we’ve overlooked: enhancing graduate employability through career management skills. Higher Education Research & Development, 28:1, 31‒44, http://undergrad.ucf.edu/whatsnext/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/The-Graduate-Attributes-Weve-Overlooked.pdf  (Accessed on 25 March 2019).

Kay, K. (2009). Middle Schools Preparing Young People for 21st Century Life and Work. Middle School Journal, 40 (5), 41‒45. https://doi.org/10.1080/00940771.2009.11461691

Kessler, G. (2013). Collaborative Language Learning in Co-constructed Participatory Culture. CALICO Journal, 30 (3), 307‒322.

Middle Years Programme: Language Acquisition Guide (2014). International Baccalaureate Organization.

Miri, B., David B. C. & Zoller, U. (2007). Purposely Teaching for the Promotion of Higher-order Thinking Skills: A Case of Critical Thinking. Res Sci Educ, 37, 353–369. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-006-9029-2

Prolman, F. (2017). Building Your Instructional Leadership. The Learning Collaborative.

Rosefsky Saavedra, A. & Opfer, V. D. (2012). Learning 21st-century skills requires 21st-century teaching. The Phi Delta Kappan, 94 (2), 8‒11. https://doi.org/10.1177/003172171209400203

Sheppard, M. & Levy, S. A. (2019). Emotions and teacher decision-making: An analysis of social studies teachers’ perspectives. Teaching and Teacher Education, 77, 193–203.

Thornbury, S. & Slade, D. (2006). Conversation: from Description to Pedagogy. Cambridge: CUP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511733123

Ustunluoglu, E. (2004). Language Teaching through Critical Thinking and Self-Awareness. English Teaching Forum, 42/3, 1–7.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978) Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Williams, M. & Burden, R. L. (1997). Psychology for Language Teachers: a Social Constructivist Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.