Attack of the Teenage Brain!: Understanding and Supporting the Weird and Wonderful Adolescent Learner

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John Medina

Attack of the Teenage Brain!
200 pages
2018
ISBN: 9781416625490

Marvel at the neuroscientific reasons why smart teens make dumb decisions!

Behold the mind-controlling power of executive function!

Thrill to a vision of a better school for the teenage brain!

Whether you’re a parent interacting with one adolescent or a teacher interacting with many, you know teens can be hard to parent and even harder to teach. The eye-rolling, the moodiness, the wandering attention, the drama. It’s not you, it’s them. More specifically, it’s their brains.

In accessible language and with periodic references to Star Trek, motorcycle daredevils, and near-classic movies of the ‘80s, developmental molecular biologist John Medina, author of the New York Times best-seller Brain Rules, explores the neurological and evolutionary factors that drive teenage behaviour and can affect both achievement and engagement. Then he proposes a research-supported counterattack: a bold redesign of educational practices and learning environments to deliberately develop teens’ cognitive capacity to manage their emotions, plan, prioritise, and focus.

Attack of the Teenage Brain! is an enlightening and entertaining read that will change the way you think about teen behaviour and prompt you to consider how else parents, educators, and policy makers might collaborate to help our challenging, sometimes infuriating, often weird, and genuinely wonderful kids become more successful learners, in school and beyond.

Table of Contents

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part I. A Bridge Over an Educational Chasm

  1. All About Executive Function

Part II. Why Rational Teens Make Rash Choices

  1. Brain Structure
  2. Brain Development

Part III. A Better School for the Teen Brain: What Adults Can Do

  1. Safety, Parenting, and Parent Support
  2. Teaching with Executive Function in Mind

Part IV. A Better School for the Teen Brain: What Teens Can Do (and How Adults Can Help)

  1. Exercise Integration
  2. Social-Emotional Learning
  3. Screen Time Meets Mindfulness Training

Epilogue: Building That Bridge