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Friday, November 13 • 19:00 - 19:15
How Developmental Science Reframes School for Adolescents

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When we understand the essential developmental stages and drives that motivate adolescents, we gain the ability to be effective and joyful facilitators of their full growth and evolution.

At present, the adolescent years are a time of tremendous lost opportunity in our schools. During these years, students too often become less engaged in school, feel less motivated to learn, and are increasingly likely to struggle with anxiety or depression. Yet from modern science we know that the adolescent years are times of deep neurodevelopment, indeed when much of our core sense of identity is shaped for decades to come.

The challenge is that our schools have generally not been designed with an accurate understanding of adolescent development: the neurological and psychological changes that drive adolescent needs, behavior, and interests. Adolescents are not less interested or engaged learners; they are as passionate as ever for those learning opportunities which are developmentally aligned.

In this talk, we'll discuss three fundamental drives and three developmental stages applicable to adolescents, drawn from psychology and neuroscience research. We'll examine the drives to discover identity, learn how to relate with others, and to become capable in the “real world.” Then we'll explore the three developmental stages of belonging, achievement, and authenticity, and what these means for the learning experiences and parental responses we create.

With real-life examples and stories from homes and innovative schools, we’ll see that adolescents can engage with consistent authenticity, passion, and curiosity when adults understand and apply this developmental lens. With these tools, adults have a solid foundation for their own evolution, from the traditional ways of lectures and forms of control, toward the more effective and enjoyable mindset of a facilitator.

avatar for Chris Balme

Chris Balme

Educator, Social Entrepreneur, Writer, Argonaut
Chris Balme is an educator, writer, and social entrepreneur, passionate about helping people discover more of their human potential. Chris was the co-founder and CEO of Spark, a US nonprofit which works across the country to re-inspire the love of learning in adolescents. He then... Read More →

Friday November 13, 2020 19:00 - 19:15 CET