October 18-21, 2018 | InterContinental Hotel
Consulting Psychologist, Concord Academy, Concord, MA (USA)
DAVID GLEASON is a clinical psychologist who provides counseling and consulting services, as well as neuropsychological assessments, within public, independent and international schools.
Dr. Gleason earned a B.A. in Psychology (1982) and an M.A. in Counseling Children & Adolescents from Boston College (1987), and then a Psy.D. at William James College (f.k.a. Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology) in 1993.
He then served as Administrative Director of Student Support Services at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, before opening his own practice in Concord, Massachusetts in 2000. At that time, Dr. Gleason also joined Concord Academy as that school’s Consulting Psychologist.
In addition, Dr. Gleason serves as Senior Neuropsychologist at Wediko Children’s Services in Boston, where he supervises pre- and post-doctoral neuropsychology interns and he co-teaches a professional development seminar.
Dr. Gleason has taught psychology at the secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels, and he presents workshops and seminars at schools, national conferences in the United States, and at international conferences around the world.Dr. Gleason’s new book, At What Cost? Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools, was published in January, 2017.
At What Cost? Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools
Anxiety, disillusionment and depression emerge, sometimes with devastating outcomes, as conflicts between ever-increasing school expectations and students’ developmental capacities persist. Tellingly, many high achieving schools have been termed “epicenters of overachievement” where students “hear the overriding message that only the best will do in grades, test scores, sports, art, college…in everything.”
Consequently, too many students in these schools feel stressed and pressured, conditions that lead not only to anxiety and depression, but also to a host of dangerous manifestations of those conditions: substance abuse, eating disorders, sleep deprivation, cutting and other forms of self-injury, and too often, suicide.
Why is this happening? With the help of a structured but open-ended interview, I have investigated these issues in many schools in the United States and in hundreds of international schools throughout the world over the past four years. With this extensive research, I have found almost complete unanimity in how educators and parents associated with these schools have responded to my inquiries. To an alarming degree, that unanimity is this: these caring and dedicated adults admit – albeit unintentionally – to overscheduling, overworking and, at times, overwhelming their students and teenage children.
Over the past decade, unprecedented insights from human brain research have revealed that environment not only affects adolescent identity, but it shapes the brain itself. In light of the intensifying pressures on adolescents that we admit to imposing on them, what must we do now? For all our students, finding the right balance between an appropriate level of academic rigor and educating them in healthy, safe and balanced ways has crucial lifelong implications.
Target Audience: Middle and Secondary School Administrators and Educators
Continuum Levels: 1, 3, 5
NESA's Learning Continuum:
The Heart of the Matter: The Adolescent Brain
Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, Margaret Mahler and Harry Stack Sullivan are among the many academic pillars on whose theories of cognitive, social and emotional development many of us relied during our education in psychology and human development. As insightful, if not prescient, as all of these theorists were, none of them lived long enough to see what we can now see inside the living human brain, thanks to the wonders of neuroimaging.Over the past ten to twenty years, five crucial neurodevelopmental discoveries have not only proven the accuracy of these early theorists, but they have also clarified – beyond the shadow of a doubt – the very detailed nature of child and adolescent brain development. Consequently, because of these neurobiological discoveries, we now know too much NOT to be educating and parenting our children and adolescents in “developmentally empathic” ways, in ways that respect the true and undeniable integrity of their still-developing brains.
In this workshop, take a “deep dive” into these five critical aspects of adolescent brain development:
1. Back to Front Development of the Human Brain
2. The Limbic System and the Prefrontal Cortex: Uneven Development
3. Neuroplasticity: “Neurons that Fire Together, Wire Together”
4. The Environment Shapes the Brain
5. The Role of Developmentally Sensitive (Critical) Periods
With new awareness of these universal developmental realities, you will understand why the lifetime prevalence of depression increases from one percent of the population under age 12, to 17-25 percent in adolescence; why anxiety usually precedes emergence of depression; why suicide before age ten is rare, but increases 100-fold between ten and fourteen years, and increases an additional ten times between ages 15 and 19; why adolescents’ brains are maximally sensitive to environmental influences, and therefore, why our schools need to be “developmentally empathic” learning environments.
Target Audience: Middle and Secondary School Administrators
Continuum Level: 1, 2, 5
NESA's Learning Continuum: