What can we do to prevent it?
There are various situations that can alter the psycho- emotional health of our adolescents. They may come to believe that they are less valid to face the various challenges, both academic and personal, that they will encounter during the path of adolescence.
These frustrating, hopeless situations loaded with a high level of stress and anxiety can lead, in some cases, to school failure and/or dropout.
|According to Idescat (Statistical Institute of Catalonia) the school dropout rate in Catalonia in 2020 is around 17.4% ( Idescat ).
This figure exceeds the maximum established by the EU, which requires member countries that their early school leaving rate does not exceed 10%. ( INE )
Differences between school failure and school dropout
|We speak of school failure in those cases in which male and female students do not finish Compulsory Secondary Education. On the other hand, we understand by school dropout those cases in which, having obtained the graduate in ESO, they do not continue training.|
The concept of “failure” has been questioned for years due to its negative connotation. It carries a load of negative attribution towards the person and they assume that all the factors related to this phenomenon depend exclusively on them.
There are various elements likely to cause the definitive closing of books by young people. One of the most common factors is learning disorders or difficulties not detected in time.
When we have to face a learning difficulty or disorder, one of our main objectives is to provide a stable and safe learning process through accompaniment, support and curricular adaptations, all of this is carried out to minimize the negative effects of these difficulties. and preserve, as well as reinforce, their self – esteem, security and self – concept, aspects mainly involved in their development, both academically and personally.
As mentioned in previous blog posts, early detection of these difficulties is very important since we have a specific period in which neuronal plasticity works in our favor to retrain them and obtain more satisfactory results. After this period, from approximately twelve years of age, we must intervene with compensatory strategies.
The transition from Primary to ESO is a complicated stage in many cases, full of changes and adaptations. In this new period, the need to manage different emotions typical of adolescence may emerge, as well as new educational needs that may not have been previously identified and, consequently, have not been worked on through psychopedagogical reeducation. We would be in a situation in which the educational process is altered and does not progress as expected according to the person’s normative group, therefore, it would be necessary to intervene as soon as possible with specific help to solve it.
What difficulties or learning disorders can we find?
At this stage it is very common to find difficulties related to planning, organization and time management. It is about those cases in which they need to learn to keep an order of the work material, they do not have the tools to organize the school agenda in an adequate and practical way and they need help to learn to distribute the time once they leave the classroom to carry out homework and exam preparation. Very commonly we find alterations or attention disorders associated with these difficulties since it intervenes in the executive functions mainly involved in learning processes.
Other frequent difficulties that we find in psycho- pedagogical re -education are difficulties or specific learning disorders in reading and writing, such as Dyslexia, or in mathematics, Dyscalculia.
Some signs that can help us detect when our sons and daughters need help:
- Low motivation and self-esteem.
- Negative, abrupt or progressive changes in academic performance. There are no improvements year after year or suddenly the grades begin to drop or the subjects are not passed.
- Poor planning and organization for both homework and exam preparation. Forgets to turn in homework, studies on short notice, always seems to need more time, etc.
- Mood swings, presence of anxiety and/or stress. Irritability, isolation, constant worry, general disinterest, alteration of sleep and rest hours, blockages, etc.
- Low performance not in accordance with the degree of effort and involvement. You spend many hours and the results are low or you do not exceed the established objectives.
- Difficulties related to reading comprehension or writing. Lower marks in subjects that involve comprehension or written expression, for example, mathematics or languages. Difficulty understanding sentences or texts, lack of vocabulary, poor planning and structuring of ideas when writing, numerous misspellings, etc.
What to do when we identify one of these situations?
It is advisable, firstly, to contact the educational center to find out their impressions and, secondly, to go to a specialized psychology center where they assess and explain the difficulties or alterations that have arisen and thus be able to design an intervention focused on them.
Beyond the learning difficulties that we have explained, there are other factors that can put the educational future of our adolescents at risk, some of these are:
High level of demand of the educational center, much higher than the academic performance of the student.
It is very important and is not always taken into account from the outset. Each school or institute, despite following a common guideline established by the Department of Education, have different methodological characteristics that make them unique.
On many occasions the educational center is characterized by having a high level of demand both in its methodology and in the academic results of the students. If there is no performance in accordance with these methods, an imbalance is produced that is very difficult to compensate for despite the curricular adaptations and the external support offered to the student.
In these cases, it is advisable to assess the characteristics of the student and those of the center for a possible change in order to offer educational assistance tailored to their needs and to provide stability and security to strengthen their self-esteem and self-concept.
Intervention and family involvement.
To control these factors, it is essential to provide both families and teachers with psychoeducation to know what to observe and how to detect these significant changes in students and thus be able to intervene as soon as possible.
The family environment, whether it is positive or negative, influences our sons and daughters, for this reason if we find ourselves in a tense, distant or unstructured environment, it will have a negative impact on our adolescents, not only educationally but also emotionally. Going to a professional will help to acquire strategies for proper management of your emotions and in parallel to improve family dynamics, having a positive impact on all its members. In addition, we will provide the adolescent with a personal and unique space in which he can talk about all those aspects that concern him or cause him discomfort. Coordination between family and educational center. Communication is the basis for knowing all those relevant aspects of the student body, both academic and emotional and motivational. Once learning difficulties, low self-esteem, demotivation, poor stress management or high levels of anxiety are detected, it is advisable to contact the institute, and vice versa, to share impressions and once the problem is known to be able to go to a professional, to guide us and provide us with the guidelines to follow in each case.
There are numerous factors that can interfere and influence the educational career of our sons and daughters, of course we are not always exposed to dropping out of school but it is important that once some of the difficulties that we have mentioned appear, we intervene as soon as possible to provide the student the necessary help so as not to compromise their educational process.
With patience, affection and accompaniment you can overcome the barriers that you may find on your way, it will be one more learning of those who have yet to live.