The Teenage Brain Is Wired to Learn—So Make Sure Your Students Know It
Adolescence is an exciting time as teenagers become increasingly independent, begin to look forward to their lives beyond high school, and undergo many physical, emotional, and cognitive changes. In that last category, teenagers can learn to take charge of their developing brains and steer their thinking in positive and productive directions toward future college and career success. The brain’s prefrontal cortex, which functions as the control center for executive functions such as planning, goal setting, decision making, and problem solving, undergoes significant changes during the teenage years. In an NPR interview, Laurence Steinberg, author of Age of Opportunity: Lessons From the New Science of Adolescence, notes that ages 12 to 25 are a period of extraordinary neuroplasticity. They have the capacity to become functionally smarter. Tools for Self-Directed Learning Don’t just read—learn. Consider the source. Create, then edit. Make a schedule—and stick to it.
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