Building Better Teen Brains – Tip #2

Self-Awareness Activities

This is Brain Friendly tip #2 from Thomas Armstrong’s book, The Power of the Adolescent Brain.

Self-awareness activities activate the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex—for self-reflective processing

“…a critical time for the formation of identity…the sense of an enduring and coherent “I”…pieced together from a broad range of subjective and objective life experiences…aspirations toward a still-unclear vision of how to function within the broader community….help students explore and express their own emerging sense of self..” (p. 53 and 33)

Armstrong lists 5 ways that teachers can give students opportunities to become more self-aware:

  1. Use self-awareness assessments
  2. Have students create autobiographies
  3. Let students keep their own journals
  4. Connect content to students’ personal lives

Points to Ponder and Discuss:

  • Rate these suggestions from Best to Worst
  • Which idea(s) sound the most important or meaningful to you?
  • Which idea(s) are the most doable or feasible?
  • Which suggestion(s) are unrealistic or impossible to do?
  • If you had to choose one to do immediately, which one would you do and what would you have to do prepare to get started?

Do you have your own ideas for building self-awareness learning into your subject area? What could help you accomplish this? Materials? Resources?