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Adolescent learners

Adolescence is a distinct stage that marks the transition between childhood and adulthood. The Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget described adolescence as the period during which individuals’ cognitive abilities fully mature. According to Piaget, the transition from late childhood to adolescence is marked by the attainment of formal operational thought, the hallmark of which is abstract reasoning. Advances in the field of neuroscience have shown that the frontal cortex changes dramatically during adolescence. It is this part of the brain that controls higher-level cognitive processes such as planning, metacognition, and multitasking. Adolescent learners thrive in school environments that acknowledge and support their growing desire for autonomy, peer interaction, and abstract cognitive thinking, as well as the increasing salience of identity-related issues and romantic relationships.
(Source: Seel 2012).

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