The Adolescent Brain

Aladdin Roque-Dangaran

During this past semester at UH at Manoa I took a class in developmental psychology. One of the more interesting topics that we learned about was the development of the adolescent. Many of us work with high school key clubbers. And to many of them, we are more than just advisors or chaperones. We often create personal bonds with our students in which they trust us and we trust them. Prior to neuroscience, and even today, there was a stigma about adolescence as being a period of ‘raging hormones.’ However, we now know that the surging hormones doesn’t tell the whole story. According to Steinberg (2011), the “maturation of the brain systems responsible for thinking ahead and controlling impulses is influenced by the sorts or experiences young people have.” Because the plasticity of the brain is at its peak during adolescence, what we experience can heavily influence the way our brain matures and develops. The connections that we form with our SLP, no matter how small it may seem, to them it can mean the world. I have had many a student just sit in my office and ‘vent’ to me. And as an adult it is easy to just push them away because it may seem like they are just complaining. But for many of those students they needed to just have a release to get them through their day. And it is not because they are ‘moody,’ but because their brains are trying to cope with the world around them, and we as educators can help push their brains in the right direction.
Sternberg, L. (2011). Demystifying the Adolescent Brain. Educational Leadership.
– Aladdin Roque-Dangaran, Pres

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