‘Educating the girl’: the teenage brain

Inga Naughton, Head of Middle School, kick started our afternoon Inset by asking us to develop into the science behind the teenage brain.

In ‘Educating the Girl’ Sydenham High staff were taken through some of the latest research in the development of the teenage brain and explored how this could impact our teaching.
We assessed how the brain connects from back to front with this process taking up to the age of 23. One aspect of development in particular we studied was how the ability to empathise and see situations from another person’s perspective decreases between the age of 11 and 14 and the impact that this might have on our student’s ability to manage certain social interactions or learning situations.

We coupled this with exploring the educational research into impact that positivity and empathy from a teacher has in the classroom as a motivational tool for their students. We then zoned in on how tone in particular can be a very powerful communication tool and how, for some students, they absorb the tone of delivery more than actual words.