Link: The Teen Brain | Harvard Magazine Sep-Oct 2008

By Michael Ames Michael Ames:
This is old research, but still something I remind myself of every day that I work with youth. It boils down to understanding that teenagers are dealing with brains that are literally not yet fully developed. Misbehavior, acting out, failure to grasp the deep concept you’re sharing — those things aren’t always because they’re ignorant or rebellious, and it’s never because they’re “bad.” Rather, those kids are wise old eternal spirits stuffed inside mortal bodies that are essentially still baking.

Love them, love them, love them, and just keep at it. Their brains will catch up to their spirits and all that time and effort you spend will suddenly pay off. They’ll remember the thing you taught them 1, 2, 3 years before, they’ll finally *understand* it, and it will change their life in small and big ways.
23(11 hours ago)

Christy R Wilkes: Great article. Thanks for posting. I really like the idea that we need “practical strategies for making in-the-moment decisions”. I think most of our students “know” what the right thing to do but sometime struggle in the moment. How do you teach those kinds of strategies? (9 hours ago)

Michael Ames: Right. It’s not that they don’t understand it intellectually, but they’ve not yet developed the cognitive facilities to act appropriately on that knowledge. As for what to do in the moment, I keep in mind that we’re dealing with what are still primitive minds and deal with them in ways those minds can best respond to: brief, clear, and unmistakeable feedback, in the moment of misbehavior, but **always** with a smile and expression of love. (9 hours ago) 2

Read more here:: Link: The Teen Brain | Harvard Magazine Sep-Oct 2008

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