NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ873645
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
Mining the Middle School Mind
Vawter, David
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v75 n5 p47-49 Jan 2010
Middle school students are walking dichotomies. They can talk about world peace and then hit the kid next to them. They can recycle to ease global warming only to leave the cafeteria a mess. Why? Well, scientifically, it is because their brains do not work. When people look at middle school students, they can plainly see evidence of physical maturity. Some students look as if they could be in high school while other students look as if they snuck in from the elementary school. Although people can see the difference in physical maturity, they cannot see the difference in mental maturity. Between the ages of 11 and 15, the brain destroys more than 20% of all previously built connections. The brain is, essentially, pruning itself. The connections and synapses patterns are so intertwined that some of the previous skills, memories, and learning are impacted. Sometimes students just cannot access the part of the brain they want. It is possible that a connection that was present yesterday, or even a few moments ago, is either not working or is no longer in existence. The emotional brain develops differently in adolescence. One can advance the cognitive function of the brain, but the emotional brain does not necessarily advance with intelligence. The most important attribute middle school teachers and administrators can have is an understanding of preadolescents, mixed with a dose of patience. That is because middle school students do not know why their brains do not work. They lose things, they forget to turn in assignments, and they can get sidetracked walking to their next class. There are many ways to reach and teach the middle school mind, however. In this article, the author presents strategies adapted from the book "Teaching with the Brain in Mind" (Jensen, 2005) that can help build the middle school brain.
Prakken Publications. 832 Phoenix Drive, P.O. Box 8623, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Tel: 734-975-2800; Fax: 734-975-2787; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A