Launch of teen brain film

Dr Georgina Donati and Dr Annie Brookman-Byrne launch their short film, to share our current understanding of adolescent brain science with teachers.

4
2

We are Georgie and Annie, researchers at the Centre for Educational Neuroscience, and we are interested in sharing the latest research in adolescent brain science with teachers.

A few years ago, we participated as scientists in an interactive play, with a theatre group called Cardboard Citizens. The play, META, was performed in front of teenagers, and explored how changes in the teenage brain can impact their lives, and even lead them to spin out of control. During performances, we (and our colleagues) were there to explain the adolescent brain science underlying the play. We were often approached by teachers and parents after the play, who said that they found the science fascinating and useful, wishing they had known it sooner.

This feedback inspired us to work on a resource for teachers (parents are also encouraged to get involved!). We teamed up with a film-maker and some great professionals from Small Films to bring you this short film. The aim of the play META had been to encourage teens, armed with new knowledge about how their brains work, to think about how they might be able to change their behaviour for their own benefit. The aim of the film is similar for teachers: how can knowledge about how the teenage brain works influence the way teachers interact with, respond to, and ultimately teach teenagers?

As part of the interactive play, teenagers came up with some interesting strategies to better manage their emotions and stay focused on the task at hand. We’re interested to find out what strategies teachers come up with (or already use) to engage the teenage brain, deal with their quirks, and essentially take advantage of the special world that is the social and emotional rollercoaster of being a teen…

At the early stages of creating the film, we spoke to teachers about our ideas. Based on this discussion, we decided to keep the video short and with basic science, but with more detailed resources about the topics covered on the Centre for Educational Neuroscience website. The teachers we spoke to were particularly keen to get ideas for specific strategies to use in the classroom. We are experts in adolescent brain science, but not in teaching, so we are handing over to you, to crowdsource strategies that draw on this science.

Under each topic there is the opportunity to add your own thoughts about how you might use, or have already used, this science to inform your teaching. We hope you will take this opportunity to share your ideas with other teachers. We will regularly update the website to include the strategies that you suggest (anonymously). Our hope is that this will become a useful resource of strategies designed by teachers, for teachers, and informed by research. We are excited to hear from you!

You can also get in touch with us on social media – we have a Twitter account @TeenBrainFilm – come and ask us questions, give us your feedback, or share with your colleagues and friends!

Watch the film here.

Visit our website here.

Medium abrookman2

Dr Annie Brookman-Byrne

Researcher, Birkbeck, University of London

I use a behavioural, neuroimaging, and classroom methods to examine the cognitive and neural bases of science and maths reasoning. I also write about hot topics in educational neuroscience.

2 Comments

Thumb gabrielleahern avatar
Gabrielle Ahern 2 months ago

I like the film. I think it is written and presented beautifully. I am sure it will initiate a lot of discussion from teachers and parents, to understand the science of being a teenager a bit better. 

Thumb abrookman2

Thanks Gabrielle! We are so happy with it and hope it will lead to the sharing of useful strategies.