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 example, an air traffic controller must safely and efficiently manage the arrivals and departures of several aircraft on multiple runways, directing each plane and keeping pilots informed of any potential issues. To carry out their daily responsibilities, air traffic controllers must be able to focus their attention, filter out distractions, set and achieve goals, prioritize and juggle multiple tasks, and control impulses. A student has to do this as well.
In fact, effective learning depends on core EF skills. By building these skills, educators can improve students’ academic learning and their social emotional development.…Read More