Article on the teenage brain

November 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Educational Leadership October 2015 is a theme issue devoted to emotionally healthy kids and one of those articles is titled Secrets of the Teenage Brain based on conversation with F.E.Jensen.  This article may be read for free on the ASCD website. Here are some key points made by Jensen:

  • And what does the frontal lobe do? It’s our seat of executive function, judgment, empathy, insight, and impulse control. One of the interesting challenges teenagers have is that they aren’t able to access their frontal lobe for instant decision making the way that adults can. (p. 18)
  • Another reason adolescence can be a vulnerable time is that the teenage brain is highly impressionable and excitable because it has so many synapses, and synapses grow by being excited and turned on. (p. 18)
  • This combination of excitable synapses and sluggish connection to their judgment centers in the frontal cortex, combined with hormones, makes adolescents highly emotional.(p. 19)
  • An interesting thing for educators to know is that some mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression, tend to blossom in the mid to late teens and early 20s.(p. 19)
  • Anxiety and related disorders like anorexia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and other social phobias are prevalent in this age window.(p. 19)
  • I think sleep deprivation plays a role. Sleep is crucial to mental health—especially for teens, whose brains are so active. Teenagers’ biological clocks are typically geared to fall asleep late and get up late.(p. 19)
  • One discovery in the field, for instance, is that your IQ can change during your teen years.(p. 20)

You have to read the article to get the details!

Here are 3 recent titles on this topic available from the Professional Library. The titles are linked to our catalogue, but you have to be logged in to reserve the books. Or check out our catalogue at Contact the Library at (416) 395-8289 or

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