The Fault with the Faulty Adult Brain Theory


Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore
Public Affairs Books, May 1, 2018

"Risk-takers," "moody," "only want to spend time with their friends:" these are some of the traits most commonly associated with teenagers. Adolescence is often perceived as an invalid form of being on the way to adulthood. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore's timely new book, Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain, questions this perspective. After more than a decade of research on the adolescent brain, Blakemore posits that this stage is, in fact, "an important, distinct biological period of development in its own right" and exists across "all cultures." Furthermore, she makes us ponder why adults often mock this important developmental and formative stage as if the teenage brain were nothing more than a faulty adult brain. Combining interesting personal anecdotes about her journey into the study of the brain with groundbreaking research, Blakemore presents complex findings in an accessible way. Clear explanations about risk-taking, fear, and social pressures offer new perspectives on this important field. For the benefit of our teenagers, this book can help school leaders, teachers, and parents rethink outdated educational practices and behaviors.

Submitted By: Zilkia Rivera-Vazquez, Saint John's School, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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