executive function in education: from theory to practice
- description T his groundbreaking volume, now revised and updated, has given thousands of educators and clinicians a deeper understanding of executive function (EF) processes in typically developing children and those with learning difficulties and developmental disabilities. The book elucidates how PreK–12 students develop such key capacities as goal setting, organization, cognitive flexibility, working memory, and self-monitoring. Leading experts in education, neuroscience, and psychology explore the links between EF and academic performance and present practical applications for assessment and instruction. Exemplary practices for supporting students with EF difficulties in particular content areas—reading, writing, and math—are reviewed.
“The second edition of this indispensable volume is replete with practical guidance and current evidence-based best practices to assist educators in improving students’ abilities to manage time, monitor behavior, and employ strategies to help with organization and planning. The book presents various theoretical perspectives and explores how EF is related to cognitive abilities such as working memory and processing speed, as well as the impact of EF processes on reading, writing, and math development. Contributors provide up-to-date guidance on how to adapt instruction, improve self-regulation skills, and incorporate new digital tools to promote success in school and beyond.”
—Nancy Mather, PhD, Department of Psychoeducational Studies, University of Arizona
Wow this is an odd book. The theories and methodologies are all over the place. For a book that is meant to provide the framework for a paradigm shift, this edited collection is so bloated and messy that it makes Vegas Elvis look like a fitness instructor.
Executive function – as a phrase in education – is interesting. I would describe it as reflexive literacy. But this book provides a very basic definition: “goal setting, planning, organizing, prioritizing, memorizing, initiating, shifting, and self-monitoring.” These attributes could also be described as academic literacies. The ‘executive’ nature of the function is unclear.
“From an impressive list of contributing authors, this book goes well beyond the traditional ‘frontal lobe metaphor’ in describing the executive function construct, challenging its conceptualization as a static, unitary skill. In doing so, the contributors consider the unique roles of brain development, personal experience, and the changing demands and supports in the classroom setting. Not only do Meltzer and colleagues explain the role of executive dysfunction in the classroom, they provide explicit strategies for intervention, with clear teaching examples. Hence, this volume will be a welcome resource for educators, psychologists, and other practitioners.”–E. Mark Mahone, PhD, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine “Meltzer has put together a much-needed text addressing the skills involved in high-order thinking. This is a timely volume that speaks to the array of issues in executive processing. The book assembles an excellent cross-section of researchers and clinicians with expertise in both theoretical issues and classroom instruction. This text succeeds in its quest to bridge the gap between research and educational practice.”–H. Lee Swanson, PhD, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Riverside “Finally, a book that clearly describes the significant role that executive function plays in learning! More importantly, this book presents very practical suggestions for effectively teaching students to use their executive functions. The contributing authors are among the leading experts in the field. This book provides a level of specificity on how to improve executive function through the teaching process that is not available in any other source.”–Donald D. Deshler, PhD, Center for Research on Learning, University of Kansas “This timely and much-needed book focuses on executive function (EF) from an educational perspective. While acknowledging that aspects of EF remain poorly understood, the book succeeds in offering practical guidelines and clear examples of how to teach and promote students’ use of EF across the curriculum. Clearly, instruction in EF is essential for some students with special educational needs, but emphasis is also given to how EF instruction will benefit all students within inclusive classrooms. This volume will be an excellent addition to the libraries of teachers and psychologists. It will serve as an invaluable resource for discussion in graduate courses in education, educational psychology, clinical psychology, educational neuroscience, and developmental psychopathology.”–Rosemary Tannock, PhD, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Program in Neuroscience and Mental Health, Hospital for Sick Children
Brings together researchers and practitioners from education, neuroscience, and psychology. This work presents a theoretical framework for understanding executive function difficulties together with a range of effective approaches to assessment and instruction.
Kaufman, C. (2010). Executive function in the classroom: Practical strategies for improving performance and enhancing skills for all students. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Sideridis, G. D. (2003). On the origins of helpless behavior of students with learning disabilities: Avoidance motivation? International Journal of Educational Research, 39, 497–517.
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