Tes focus on…Executive function

The role of executive function – how we control our own behaviour and work towards goals – in education is widely acknowledged, but research into strategies for teachers to develop these skills in pupils is lacking. Here, Professor Lucy Cragg talks to Chris Parr about steps that educators can take that should make children more focused learners

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Most teachers will recognise the importance of “executive function”, even if they have never heard the term before. It was one of the first areas of cognition that education research focused on, and that focus is still going strong today.

Executive function, also known as “cognitive control”, is the set of mental processes responsible for how we control our behaviour and work towards the attainment of goals. As such, it is key for academics seeking to understand how children learn – and the reasons why learning sometimes does not happen.

And the education profession has been quick to catch on ...

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