Success in our fast-paced, high-stakes schools is dependent on executive function processes. Why do so many students seem to struggle with executive function? How can teachers and parents support students to handle the executive function demands of academic and everyday life?
Why Is Executive Function Important?
Executive function is a hot topic in education these days, but what does it mean and why do so many students struggle with it? In our 21st-century schools, a large gap still separates the strategies that are taught from the skills needed for success in school and in the workplace. Classroom instruction often focuses on the content, or what, of learning rather than the process, or how, of learning. Furthermore, students are not taught to understand how they think and how they learn, a process known as “metacognitive awareness.”
Nevertheless, academic performance depends on students’ self-understanding as well as their ability to plan their time, organize and prioritize ideas, think flexibly, monitor their progress, and self-regulate.
These executive function processes have become increasingly important from the elementary grades onwards as students complete complex reading and writing assignments as well as online research for long-term projects.
SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org
Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org
The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org