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September 2014 | Volume 56 | Number 9
Teaching to the Teenage Brain
Draw on the classroom environment to turn teens' natural wiring for novelty, risk taking, and social rewards into cognitive assets.
There is a beautifully remodeled high school in my neighborhood. The state-of-the-art campus features open learning spaces with huge windows facing the street. It's from one of those windows that students recently posted a sign calling for help. The classroom is so visible to any passerby, that instantly, police descended and the school went into lockdown mode. It turned out to be a prank—an incredibly stupid, potentially dangerous prank that highlights the stereotype that teens will enact wild, risky behaviors, especially to impress their friends.
What were they thinking? Recent brain imaging provides an edifying answer and some important cues for teaching the teen brain.
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Copyright © 2014 by ASCD
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