Executive function is a set of skills that stems from the coordination of three cognitive processes: cognitive flexibility, working memory and inhibitory control. These skills help us plan, focus, remember instructions and complete tasks. Cognitive flexibility is the ability to pay attention and switch attention from one task to another. Working memory enables us to mentally hold and process information, and inhibitory control allows us to stop an impulse and display a more appropriate response.
Executive function skills are foundational for success in education, employment, and in social situations throughout life. Executive function skills are important for many aspects of our lives, including:
Over the past two decades a strong body of evidence has developed demonstrating the importance of executive function skills across the lifespan. There also is a growing body of evidence on how to support executive function in young children and school students.
Executive function skills are particularly malleable in early childhood, but these skills can also be taught, practised and improved when children are at primary and secondary school. At the core of building strong executive function skills is establishing positive relationships with students. Modellingwhat strong executive function skills look like is also important as children and young people look to adults as a guide for their own behaviour. Teachers can support the development of executive function skills in their students by ensuring the classroom environment and programme are organised and well structured, by supporting students to be independent, and by involving families in the supporting and promoting the development of executive function.
The Education Hub has teamed up with the UK's Evidence Based Education to offer a suite of three award-winning professional development courses for New Zealand teachers. Choose from: Assessment Essentials
Assessment Lead Programme Science of Learning Programme
The Education Hub's mission is to bridge the gap between research and practice in education. We want to empower educators to find, use and share research to improve their teaching practice, and then share their innovations. We are building the online and offline infrastructure to support this to improve opportunities and outcomes for students.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.