Building Better Teen Brains

The problems of adolescence are often blamed on the hormonal changes brought about during puberty, but recent discoveries in the study of brain development show that substantial maturation continues well beyond 18. We can't point to a specific chronological age at which the adolescent brain becomes an adult brain, because different brain regions mature along different timetables, but important developments are still ongoing during the early 20s. Treating adolescents as adults and setting adult expectations is misguided, at best. These years are the key period in determining individuals' life outcomes. How should we change the way we parent, educate, and understand young people?

Festival: 2015

Watch and Listen: Education

The genius of artificial intelligence (AI) is its capacity to swiftly mine repositories of data, such as the vast... See more
The Afternoon of Conversation is the Aspen Ideas Festival's signature event and hosts an audience of 2,000 in the... See more
Over the past 20 years, almost 200,000 children under age 18 have been shot. Nearly as many attend schools where a... See more
An interactive evening of presentations, small group discussions, performances, and opportunities to engage with other... See more
Welcome from David G. Bradley and Walter Isaacson A Conversation on the Future with Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots... See more
The 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival closes out with notable speakers and final thoughts. See more

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