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Understanding Executive Function

Welcome to Understanding Executive Function 

Executive Function (EF) refers to the skills needed for the deliberate, goal-directed self-management of attention, thought, action, emotion, and motivation. These skills, which include cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibitory control, develop rapidly during early childhood, support school readiness and socioemotional competence, and more generally, serve as a foundation for effective learning and adaptation across a wide range of situations.

This course will cover what is known about EF and why there is currently so much interest in EF among educators and parents; how executive function is tied to the brain, and how both develop as a function of experience; how to measure EF in childhood and across the lifespan; and, effective ways to support its healthy development in the early childhood classroom.

Key ideas:

  1. Understand and discuss the influence of experience on brain development and behavior.
  2. Define and discuss executive function (EF) and its development in childhood.
  3. Understand why EF is important for learning and school success.
  4. Understand how EF is measured in early childhood.
  5. Identify ways to promote the healthy development of EF.

This course includes formative assessments after each module as well as a final assessment upon completion of all content. Get started by clicking on Module 1: A Brief Introduction to Executive Function and What it Looks Like below!