Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New Edutopia Blog Post Explores the Teenage Brain

In our latest blog post for Edutopia, Donna and I discuss one of the most exciting times in life for changing and learning: adolescence.

The blog post, entitled "The Teenage Brain Is Wired to Learn—So Make Sure Your Students Know It," describes how neuroplasticity benefits adolescents and enables them to improve their performance in school. This becomes even more possible with the direct guidance and help of committed and caring teachers.

While students who have reached their early teens already have formed an image of themselves regarding their intellectual capabilities, it's important to communicate that they have the capacity to become functionally smarter. This is a point we get across in our newest book, Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains: Metacognitive Strategies, Activities, and Lesson Ideas. And as we point out in our Edutopia blog post, success in school is largely determined by the learning strategies that students employ.

Among the strategies we identify in the article are:
  • Don't just read—learn. In other words, use strategies (such as creating diagrams or pictures and summarizing passages) to give more meaning to what you're reading.
  • Consider the source. Look into whether the material you are reading is reputable, especially when it comes from online.
  • Create, then edit. Always go back to revisit and improve your work. 
  • Make a schedule—and stick to it. This helps you to achieve more and plan for unforeseen circumstances.
  • Read ahead to stay ahead. Encourage your students to read a few pages ahead of the current assignment to improve understanding and recall.
  • Become metacognitive. This will help students determine which study skills work best for them.
Read the complete blog post at the Edutopia website.

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