Adolescent Development

Age of opp

"Periods of heightened brain plasticity are times when our experiences are likely to having enduring effects. We have known for some time that the first three years of life constitute one such period. We now know that adolescence is another. The brain will never again be as plastic as it is during adolescence. We cannot afford to squander the second opportunity to help young people be happier, healthier and more successful. Adolescence is our last best chance to make a difference." 
‚ÄčAge of Opportunity 

As we planned for the opening of Ida B. Wells Middle School, we were inspired by recent research on adolescent brain development, including the book, Age of Opportunity by Dr. Laurence Steinberg. We often look back to our middle school years and find them full of awkward periods of growth and our own exploration of self-identity. Our staff firmly believes middle school can be a joyful and positive age of opportunity- a time to thrive, not just survive.

PE
Our student experience was designed to provide a well-balanced and supportive environment, rooted in recent research on adolescent development. Specifically, in our founding year, we are launching our program to incorporate physical education daily and a SEL (social emotional learning) curriculum focused on helping students develop self-regulation, conflict resolution skills and empathy.

How does research on adolescent development impact our instructional program?

Questions

Adolescent students are fundamentally looking to learn more about who they are (self-identity) and how they relate to others (peer relationships). At Ida B. Wells Middle School, we seek to help students make connections to content so they can answer these foundational questions.

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