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Presentation on theme: "LEARNING AND THE TEENAGE BRAIN"— Presentation transcript:



3 FACT OR MYTH Enriched environments grow dendrites
Yes – lots of changes when exposed to enriched environments – but must engage with the environment – not just have ‘stuff’ around

4 Fact or Myth? (cont) Brain power is inherited
Nature and nurture – both Experience affects how the brain is organized Yes. The organisation of the brain is influenced by the environment

5 Fact or Myth? (cont) Music enhances general cognitive abilities
Music in general seems to enhance cognitive abilities, focus and concentration seem to be affected positively Pruning is a process that occurs in ‘teen brains’ Yes. Adolescence seems to be one of the times of great pruning as the brain matures

6 The brain during adolescence
Puberty is marked by a dramatic increase in neuron connectivity and growth throughout many parts of the brain During adolescence, many neural pathways will be pruned away because the pathways are not used Maturation and development of cognitive functioning and higher-level thinking skills

7 The adolescent brain A use-it-or-lose-it process. Neural connections that get used and exercised are strengthened and retained while those that are not get pruned away. “Teens have the power to determine their own brain development – which connections survive and which don’t”

8 The adolescent brain (cont…)
Overreliance on the amygdala (the emotional gatekeeper of the brain). Teenagers do more of their thinking and decision-making in this part of the brain Greater need for proper nutrition, rest and sleep Its development depends largely upon the kinds and quality of experiences it receives. Last part to mature – part in which higher-level thinking and more rational decision-making occurs

9 Physical activity and movement greatly enhance learning for the teenage brain
Regulates energy and attention levels in the brain and affects the release of hormones Can actually build brain cells Optimises development of key areas of the brain Builds strong memory pathways Learners become more receptive to and engaged in the learning experience

10 Memory and learning in the teenage brain can be significantly affected by emotion
Too much or too little will derail learning The brain is wired to pay attention first to sensory information that has a strong emotional content Strong emotional responses like anger, fear and intense anxiety can override conscious thought processing

11 Optimal sleep Need 8/9 hrs sleep, but most get less – about 70% of teenagers suffer from sleep deprivation. Teenagers who get the least sleep do the poorest academically. Effective learning requires the right state of mind – relaxed alertness

12 SUMMARY what does this mean to me as a parent?
Create an enriched learning environment at home by: actively valuing learning in the home through conversations and opportunities to apply learning and make connections between the learning and the world in which we live Encouraging students to use as many senses as possible in learning – to read, see, look, apply …

13 Summary (cont..) Encouraging physical activity and movement
Acknowledging the role of emotion in the process of learning and helping your daughter with strategies to manage the impact of negative stress


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