Renowned Neuroscientist Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath Enlightens LCS Community on Teenage Brain Development and Effective Study Techniques
Lakefield College School was honoured to welcome Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath, a distinguished neuroscientist, educator, and author, who shared his expertise with our parents, faculty, staff, and students in a series of illuminating discussions. Dr. Horvath delved into two crucial topics: the intricacies of teenage brain development and science-backed study methods for academic success.
During his engaging session with our students, Dr. Horvath emphasized a few key points:
Finding your focus is critical in the learning process. "Focus is everything; if you aren’t focused, you won’t retain information," he emphasized.
Multitasking (successfully) is a myth. Dr. Horvath highlighted the fact that our brains can only pay attention to one thing (successfully) at a time. To optimize productivity, he encouraged the Pomodoro studying method, which is comprised of 25 minutes of focussed study or work followed by a 5-minute break.
Analog notetaking and studying are advantageous. Dr. Horvath urged students to ‘go analog’ when studying. Research showed that those studying on digital devices were distracted within just 6 minutes. Furthermore, using a laptop in class led to approximately 38 minutes of distraction during a single class session. Instead, he advocated for handwritten notes, emphasizing that the act of writing helps in retaining information. He also proposed a unique approach: refraining from taking notes during class, then revisiting the lecture content afterward, jotting down key points, and summarizing the crucial information.
Dr. Horvath's wisdom extended beyond study techniques. He underscored the power of stories in teaching and learning, stating, “The power of stories and narrative in teaching and learning is undeniable. What is education if not helping others to understand their story and to build new stories?”
Moreover, he encouraged the application of learned skills in diverse contexts, enabling decontextualization for better access and utilization. "Use the same skill in as many different contexts as you can so you decontextualize it, and now you should be able to access it more freely," he advised.
In closing, Dr. Horvath left our students with practical strategies they can use in their approach to learning: "Practice it once or twice tonight, take a day off, practice it once or twice on that next day, take two days off, do it again." His insights sparked enthusiasm in both our students and faculty/staff for effective learning within our community, empowering our students with scientifically proven techniques to excel academically.
During his talk with parents, Dr. Horvath shed light on the developing teenage brain. He reminded us that adolescence and early adulthood mark a period of significant transformation, wherein the teen brain undergoes remarkable changes. He shared how and why teenagers think differently than adults, prompting us to explore innovative ways to support our students academically, emotionally, and cognitively.
Thank you, Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath, for speaking with our community! We look forward to implementing his advice in our classrooms and beyond.
Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.
We respectfully acknowledge that Lakefield College School is located on the Treaty 20 Michi Saagiig territory and in the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig and Chippewa Nations, collectively known as the Williams Treaties First Nations, which include: Curve Lake, Hiawatha, Alderville, Scugog Island, Rama, Beausoleil, and Georgina Island First Nations. Lakefield College School respectfully acknowledges that the Williams Treaties First Nations are the stewards and caretakers of these lands and waters in perpetuity and that they continue to maintain this responsibility to ensure their health and integrity for generations to come.