Enhancing teacher efficacy: research and implementation of brain-based pedagogy for educators of adolescent learners

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Craig, Tonita M.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
Adolescence is a time characterized by immense physical, emotional, and social changes (Blakemore, 2018; Siegel, 2011). It is a period in which there are significant differences in neural structures, directly affecting the way adolescents learn and respond to traditional instructional strategies (Blakemore, 2018; Siegel, 2013). Contrary to popular opinion, the adolescent brain is not a dysfunctional adult brain: it is quite literally wired differently, with a unique structure and function, necessary for adaptation to specific environmental contexts and geared for social survival (Blakemore, 2018; Cozolino, 2013). The adolescent brain is sensation seeking, risk taking, and reward driven; it is sensitive to social threat and dominance hierarchies, self-consciousness, and alert to social risk appraisal, and it is hyper-responsive to social influence such as status and respect (Cozolino, 2013; Yeager, Dahl & Dweck, 2017). It is a brain uniquely situated to challenge social norms, question purpose, and seek meaning and connection. The project, a web-based repository of resources, provides essential knowledge and practical resources for all educators who work directly and indirectly with adolescents. It explains how the adolescent brain is wired differently, how teachers can use this knowledge in instructional design, and why adolescence is considered a "second window of opportunity" in neural development (Dahl et al., 2017).
This submission is a paper in defence of my final project, a website repository entitled, "So You Teach Junior High? Adolescent Neurodevelopment: Essential Knowledge and Practical Resources for Teachers"
adolescent learners , adolescent neurodevelopment , Self-Determination Theory , supplementary teaching resources , junior high school teachers , junior high school students , instructional design support , brain-based pedagogy , teacher efficacy , Junior high school teaching--Aids and devices , Junior high school teaching--Handbooks, manuals, etc. , Middle school teaching--Aids and devices , Middle school teaching--Handbooks, manuals, etc. , Lesson planning--Aids and devices , Lesson planning--Handbooks, manuals, etc. , Cognitive neuroscience , Cognitive learning , Adolescent psychology , Developmental neurobiology , Adolescence , Brain , Effective teaching , Teacher effectiveness , Learning, Psychology of