Every day in the classroom, students are expected to engage in tasks such as paying attention to and remembering information, completing their work on time, waiting to speak until they’re called upon, and asking for help when they need it. If a child has difficulty with these tasks, executive function (EF) may be at the root of the issue.

EF is a set of mental skills or processes that help a child or an adult work toward objectives and accomplish tasks. The role of EF in a student’s thinking and behavior is similar to that of an air traffic controller. For...

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  • About the Author:

    As the author of more than 100 journal articles and multiple books, neuroscientist Martha S. Burns, Ph.D., is a leading expert on how children learn. She works as a consultant for the clinical provider division of Scientific Learning.