A teenage brain is a fascinating, still-changing place. There’s a lot going on: Social awareness, risk-taking, peer pressure; all are heightened during this period.
Until relatively recently, it was thought that the brain was only actively developing during childhood — but in the last two decades, researchers have confirmed that the brain continues to develop during adolescence — a period of time that can stretch from the middle-school years into early adulthood.
“We were always under the assumption that the brain doesn’t change very much after childhood,” explains Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London.
But that’s simply not the case, she says, and educators — and teens themselves — can learn a lot from this.