Center of Excellence Research Consortium (COERC)

Each year, the Center of Excellence hosts the Spring Research Consortium to increase awareness of research related to children of poverty and facilitate collaboration among research scholars, school district leaders and practitioners interested in studying children of poverty and best educational practices for high poverty schools.

SPRING 2025
Research Consortium

About the 2025 Research Consortium

Imagine a world in which Gen Xers, millennials, and boomers interact with young people in ways that leave them feeling inspired, enthusiastic, and ready to contribute—rather than disengaged, outraged, or overwhelmed. That world may be closer than you think. In this book based on cutting edge research, psychologist David Yeager explains how to stop fearing young people’s brains and hormones and start harnessing them.

Neuroscientists have discovered that around age ten, puberty spurs the brain to crave socially rewarding experiences, such as pride, admiration, and respect, and to become highly averse to social pain, such as humiliation or shame. As a result, young people are subtly reading between the lines of everything we say, trying to interpret the hidden implications of our words to find out if we are disrespecting or honoring them. Surprisingly, this sensitivity to status and respect continues into the mid-twenties. 10 to 25 helps adults develop an ear for the difference between the right and wrong way to respect young people and avoid frustrating patterns of miscommunication and conflict.

Yeager explains how to adopt what he terms the mentor mindset, which is a leadership style that’s attuned to young people’s need for status and respect. Anyone can adopt the mentor mindset by following a few highly effective and easy-to-learn practices such as validating young people’s perspectives (rather than dismissing them), asking them questions (rather than telling them what to do), being transparent about your beliefs and goals (rather than assuming that they will accurately guess your thoughts), and holding them to high standards (rather than coddling them). Yeager’s scientific experiments have shown these practices reduce a wide variety of behavior problems, including school dropout, unhealthy eating, stress, purposelessness, mental health problems, and more.

One of the biggest misconceptions about mentoring is that it takes up too much time. On the contrary, those who use the mentor mindset end up with more time. Through back-and-forth conversations, young people feel empowered, and managers can transfer responsibility to them. Young people in this age group are poised to learn, grow, and accomplish incredible things—if only we can tap into the basic neurobiological systems that drive their motivation and behavior.

An essential read for anyone who interacts with young people, 10 to 25 is a groundbreaking book that offers long-term strategies to help nurture well-adjusted, independent, accomplished young people who contribute to society in positive ways—all while making our own lives easier.

About the 2025 Featured Researcher

David Yeager, PhD, is the Raymond Dickson Centennial Professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and the cofounder of the Texas Behavioral Science and Policy Institute. He is best known for his research conducted with Carol Dweck, Angela Duckworth, and Greg Walton on short but powerful interventions that influence adolescent behaviors such as motivation, engagement, healthy eating, bullying, stress, mental health, and more. He has consulted for Google, Microsoft, Disney, and the World Bank, as well as for the White House and the governments in California, Texas, and Norway. His research has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, CNN, Fox News, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and more. Clarivate Web of Science ranks Yeager as one of the top 0.1% most-influential psychologists in the world over the past decade. Prior to his career as a scientist, he was a middle school teacher and a basketball coach. He earned his PhD and MA at Stanford University and his BA and MEd at the University of Notre Dame. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and their four children.