Consequently, key secondary school reform efforts need to emphasize learning activities involving metacognition, goal-setting, planning, working memory, reflection on one’s learning, and frequent opportunities to make responsible choices.
Findings from adolescent-brain research also suggest a number of things that educators should stop doing so much of at the middle school and high school levels. For example:• Classroom teaching that focuses largely on delivering content through lectures and textbooks fails to engage the emotional brain and leaves unchanged those prefrontal regions that are important in metacognition.
• Public posting of grades and test scores (a practice which in this data-driven world appears to be increasing) humiliates and shames students in front of their highly valued peers.
• Locking students into a set academic college-bound program of courses takes away their ability to make decisions about what most interests them (a process that integrates the limbic system’s motivational verve with the prefrontal cortex’s decisionmaking capacity).
• The elimination or cutback of physical education and/or recess in favor of more time for academics increases teenagers’ already stressed-out nervous systems.
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