Adolescent Risk Taking, Rewards, and Relationships

Shannon Anderson, Family & School Partnership Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia
Adriana GalvánProfessor of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
Anthony Terrell, Principal, Mount Vernon High School, Alexandria, Virginia
Winsome Waite, Vice President, Alliance for Excellent Education (Moderator)

On December 19, 2019 the Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) held a webinar as part of its Science of Adolescent Learning initiative.  Ever wonder why teenagers are so quick to adopt Instagram, Snapchat, and other forms of social media? Or take up X Games sports such as skateboarding and snowboarding?

According to the All4Ed report, Science of Adolescent Learning: Risk Taking, Rewards, and Relationships, adolescents’ mindsets about learning evolve as awareness of their social environments increases. During this developmental period, adolescents increasingly seek novel and thrilling experiences while their capacity for self-regulation is also maturing. The roles of peers and adults also shift, taking on new significance for the adolescent learner.

In this webinar, our expert panel discussed how educators can ensure that school environments promote positive mindsets in adolescent students and motivate them to take risks associated with positive outcomes. Panelists also discussed how educators can:

  • influence how adolescents engage in academic and social activities through the mindsets they encourage and the types of motivation they provide; and
  • shape school environments to provide adolescents and their peers with opportunities to take risks together and to support them as they take greater responsibility for their learning.