Why are teenagers so hard to understand? This lively and interactive workshop explores current adolescent brain research to help you understand the cognitive and emotional developments in middle and high school students. Through the field of neuroscience, you will explore the development of neural networks and myelination to better understand teenage thinking and feeling. Using psychology, you will consider the importance of working memory, self-control, attention, and motivation - and their key differences in teenagers. In every case, these scientific explorations will inform your teaching practice and offer practical strategies that best align with your students' brain development. Andrew Watson will discuss research into sleep, the unique sleep needs and schedules of adolescents, and their implications for current school schedules. You will also consider the surprising and often contradictory research into technology usage and video games that keep adolescents busy and (dis-)connected. You will leave with a deeper understanding of adolescent brains and minds, and ways to better serve them in school.

This seminar runs from 8:15 am to 2:30 pm at the Holiday Inn Boston-Dedham Hotel & Conference Center.


Participants will be able to:
• Explain the neural changes behind adolescent emotional development, especially the "imbalance hypothesis"
• Outline the neural changes behind teenage cognitive development, including working memory, executive function, processing speed, and self-control
• Realign teaching strategies, school policies, and schedules to fit with teenage brain development and learning
• Enhance students' self-control with research-supported strategies
• Explain the benefits and detriments of adolescent technology use, including academic technology, social media, and video games
• Understand the limitations of scientific research, in order to use it most effectively in the classroom


This seminar is applicable for 6-12 teachers of all disciplines, academic administrators, instructional leaders, learning specialists, and middle and high school counselors




Andrew Watson, MA, EdM, has been connecting brain research with teachers and schools for the better part of a decade. A one-time dean of faculty, and an award-winning teacher with 16 years of experience, Andrew Watson now presents on the classroom uses of neuroscience and psychology research. He is the Founder and President of Translate the Brain - an educational consultancy. He is also the author of Learning Begins (2017) and the editor of the LEARNING & THE BRAIN blog.