Executive Function: An Interview with Dr. Phil Zelazo

Dr. Philip David Zelazo, Co-founder of Reflection Sciences and leading researcher in the field of developmental psychology, was recently interviewed by Ellen Galinsky, Executive Director and Chief Science Officer of Mind in the Making at the Bezos Family Foundation, Co-founder and President of Families and Work Institute (FWI), and Vroom Advisor. The interview was highlighted in […]

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How Executive Function Promotes Healthy Emotional Development in Children 4–9 Years Old

As children continue to grow, there are important developmental benchmarks for parents and teachers to monitor to ensure healthy development. A child’s wellbeing goes far beyond physical health—mental, emotional, and social considerations also are crucial. In this post, we’ll focus on how Executive Function skills promote healthy emotional development in children 4–9 years old. Executive […]

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University of Minnesota – CEHD’s CEED partners with Reflection Sciences

by Cassandra Blohowiak The Center for Early Education and Development (CEED) has partnered with tech start-up Reflection Sciences to conduct on-site trainings on the Minnesota Executive Function Scale (MEFS) in Minnesota. The MEFS is a testing app that early educators can use to measure executive function (EF) and early learning readiness in children. It is the only early learning readiness assessment measuring […]

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The Batman Effect – How To Get Kids to Focus Using Superheroes

For young children, the importance of pretend play is more than just the ability to have fun. In a recent study by Dr. Stephanie M. Carlson, University of Minnesota Professor and Reflection Sciences CEO and Co-founder, and U of MN alums Dr. Rachel White, Dr. Emily Prager, and Catherine Schaefer, children who pretend to be […]

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OCD and Executive Function in Children

When children suffer from executive function issues, it can contribute to separate, but related, disorders. Children who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often struggle with executive function (EF), such as the ability to shift their attention to a new idea once they get stuck in a repetitive cycle. A child with OCD won’t necessarily experience every […]

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Minnesota Executive Function Scale + Outcome Measure for Montessori Education

By Stephanie M. Carlson, PhD and Philip David Zelazo, PhD The notion of reflection is rooted throughout Montessori methods. The environment and pedagogy are designed to cultivate children’s awareness of their work and self-motivated learning. Reflection is also the key to developing life skills known as “executive function.” Educators and employers are increasingly hearing about […]

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How to Be a Better Mentor: Improve Executive Function with Reflection

Joseph Angaran, national Check & Connect trainer at the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota, explains the power of ‘pausing’ to enhance EF and mentor efficacy. Reflection, which refers to the ability to “notice challenges, pause, consider options, and put things into context prior to responding”, supports healthy academic, social, and emotional […]

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Executive Function and Autism

When children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), they process information much differently from typically developing children. These kids tend to notice the details of a situation but have trouble organizing and retrieving them later on. Problems with executive function in autism are common, and they can affect certain cognitive abilities. Children with autism may […]

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How to Improve Early Childhood Education: Help Teachers De-Stress

A new report out this month: 46% of teachers say they feel high daily stress. Roughly 50% agree that “stress and disappointments involved in teaching at this school aren’t really worth it.” What helps? Mindfulness. Patricia Jennings, Associate Professor of Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, mindfulness practitioner of more […]

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