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The Adolescent Brain
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The Adolescent Brain
Reaching for Autonomy



© 2007 | 176 pages | Corwin

"Excellent advice on dealing with young people. I wish I'd had this book when my own children were adolescents!"
—Patricia Wolfe, International Educational Consultant, Mind Matters, Inc.

"Written in a reader-friendly manner, the book thoughtfully examines the transition period from childhood to adulthood and combines scholarship from psychology, education, and neuroscience. Loved the graphics!"
—Sheryl Feinstein, Associate Professor, Augustana College

"Readers will leave this book with a sense of calmness about living or working with adolescents."
—Bob Patterson, Training Manager, Discovery Education

How the teenage brain thinks, feels, learns, and changes on its journey to adulthood.

In this enlightening volume, expert educator Robert Sylvester explains how adults can better understand teenagers through an engaging discussion of the adolescent brain. Readers will learn how to:

  • Mentor adolescents rather than attempt to manage and control them
  • Nurture creativity, imagination, and individuality
  • Understand such critical issues as sexuality and bonding,productivity and vocation, morality and ethics, risk and security, technology and drugs, collaboration and autonomy, and more


Familiar examples and nontechnical language make this an accessible resource appropriate for rewarding classroom or family discussion.

 
Preface
 
About the Author
 
1. Adolescence in Contemporary Society: Being Somewhat Confused
Confusion Within Adolescents  
Confusion About Adolescents  
An Introduction to the Issues Explored in Subsequent Chapters  
 
2. Brain Organization and Development: Being Human
Mirror Neurons  
The Organization of the Human Brain  
The Development of the Human Brain  
Maintaining a Developing Brain  
 
3. Sexuality and Bonding: Maintaining Our Species
Biological Differences  
Interpreting Gender Differences  
Cultural Confusion  
Human Bonding Behavior  
Emerging Cultural Conflicts  
The Hazards of Sexual Pleasure  
 
4. Productivity and Vocation: Maintaining Our Planet
A 21st-Century Curriculum for 21st-Century Students  
A 21st-Century Vocation  
Home, School, and Vocation  
 
5. Morality and Ethics: Maintaining Our Culture
Factual Knowledge and Decisions  
Adaptive Preferences and Choices  
The Development of Our Moral/Ethical Base  
 
6. Risks and Security: Going Beyond the Known
Our Brain's Regulatory Systems  
From Emotional Arousal to Conscious Decision  
The Biology of Risk and Security  
Adults and Adolescent Risks  
 
7. Technology and Drugs: Going Beyond Nature
Biological Stress  
Technological Enhancement  
Drug Support  
Psychoactive Drugs: A Primer  
 
8. The Arts and Humanities: Going Beyond Reality
Adornment  
Language, Music, and Dance  
The Humanities  
 
9. Collaboration and Autonomy: Going Beyond Adolescence
Collaboration  
The Reach for Autonomy  
 
Appendix A: Neurotransmitters and Neural Transmission
 
Appendix B: The Cerebral Cortex
 
Glossary
 
References and Resources
 
Index

"Written in a reader-friendly manner, the book thoughtfully examines the transition period from childhood to adulthood and combines scholarship from psychology, education, and neuroscience. Loved the graphics!"

Sheryl Feinstein, Associate Professor
Augustana College

"The personal stories provide a 'front line' credibility and contribute to the clear flow of the book. Readers will leave this book with a sense of calmness about living or working with adolescents."

Bob Patterson, Training Manager
Discovery Education

"Sylwester does a nice job of tying in the concepts he introduces with the moral and ethical growth of the adolescent."

Lisa Edwards, Teacher
Hickory High School, Conover, NC

"Makes an outstanding contribution to the field. Clear, concise, and flows easily from one cleverly titled chapter to the next. Sylwester uses metaphors beautifully, making the information much more accessible to the lay reader. Excellent advice on dealing with young people. I wish I had this book when my own children were adolescents!"

Patricia Wolfe, International Education Consultant
Mind Matters, Inc.

"Throughout the book, Sylwester emphasizes the importance of caring adults listening and reflecting through dialogue with these brainy teens."

Brain Compatible Learning Newsletter, Issue 1

Excellent book to discuss why adolescents do what adolescents do.

Ms Denise Rattigan
Education Division, Carthage College
September 25, 2011
Key features
  • An engaging and enlightening new discussion of the adolescent brain by author - educator - scientist Robert Sylwester.
  • Discusses teenage sexuality and bonding, morality and ethics, risks and security, technology and drugs, the arts and humanities, and collaboration and autonomy.
  • Uses non-technical language and familiar examples appropriate for classroom and/or family discussions.
  • Acknowledges the reality that educators cannot control teens and offers opportunities to shift to understanding and mentoring them instead. 

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


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