What is the Importance of Pretend Play in Child Development?

How can pretend play act as an ally of healthy executive function development in young children? According to pretend play in child development expert, Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota, and Reflection Sciences Co-founder, Dr. Stephanie M. Carlson, “Play is about as ‘blueprinted’ a behavior as you can have in terms of […]

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Can we use self-control for kids as a predictor of later outcomes?

Many people are familiar with the late 60s, early 70s study called the “Marshmallow Test” by American psychologist Dr. Walter Mischel. Mischel and his research team put a marshmallow in front of a child and told them that they had two options: they could eat the marshmallow now, or they could wait for a said amount […]

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What Are the Stages of Early Consciousness for Children?

The development of consciousness in childhood in relation to Executive Function (EF) skills is one that psychologists are just beginning to understand. Dr. Phil Zelazo is Reflection Sciences’ co-founder and the Nancy M. and John E. Lindahl Professor at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. In this online lecture featured by […]

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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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