Maybe we are getting better at focusing when getting older shows a new study on executive functions

It’s always fun when I can share some good news instead of debunking myths in education. This new research from Georgetown University Medical Center offers surprisingly good news by countering the view that advancing age leads to broad declines in our mental abilities. Some things might get even better! From the press release: The findings,… Read More Maybe we are getting better at focusing when getting older shows a new study on executive functions

New meta-analysis on the bilingual advantage in executive functions of children

This is quite a study by Gunnured et al. It checks a lot of quality boxes, such as preregistration, open data… The topic is a field that has been quite difficult to examine, as it discusses the influence of bilingualism on executive functions (EF) of children. Why is this kind of research difficult? Well, while… Read More New meta-analysis on the bilingual advantage in executive functions of children

Can you train executive functions? A second meta-analysis says…

In 2015 I wrote this blogpost on a meta-analysis on the training of executive functions. The results were a bit depressing. Today I found a new meta-analysis via Jeroen Jansen and the results… are again not that good and it all has to do with one of the key concepts in education: transfer.  The meta-analysis… Read More Can you train executive functions? A second meta-analysis says…

Can you train executive functions? It’s complicated… My presentation at #CTTLAcademy

This is the presentation that I used for my deep dive session at the CTTL Academy at St Andrews in July 2017. 2 important sources – besides the many mentioned in my presentation – were: Oops: little evidence yet that executive function interventions boost student achievement Guide to enhance and practice executive function skills with children… Read More Can you train executive functions? It’s complicated… My presentation at #CTTLAcademy

Focusing on executive functions, self-regulating skills in kindergarten may provide lasting academic effects

According to a study by researchers at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development an educational approach focused on the development of children’s executive functions – the ability to avoid distractions, focus attention, hold relevant information in working memory, and regulate impulsive behavior – improved academic learning in and beyond kindergarten. Beyond kindergarten being… Read More Focusing on executive functions, self-regulating skills in kindergarten may provide lasting academic effects

Can attention span in infancy predict later executive function? (Best Evidence in Brief)

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief with some interesting studies, such as this one, although I do think it can be regarded in part for an extra argument that executive functions (note the plural) are heavily influenced by nature: Infant attention skills are significantly related to preschool executive function at age three, according to… Read More Can attention span in infancy predict later executive function? (Best Evidence in Brief)

Oops: little evidence yet that executive function interventions boost student achievement

Executive functions are quite hot in education lately, check e.g. this evidence-based guide. But do they really work? A federally funded meta-analysis of 25 years’ worth of research finds no conclusive evidence that developing students’ executive function skills leads to better academic performance. It seems to be a case of correlation versus causal relationship and maybe… Read More Oops: little evidence yet that executive function interventions boost student achievement

Guide to enhance and practice executive function skills with children from infancy to adolescence

Executive functions are gaining some momentum in education, but what are they? Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. Just as an air traffic control system at a busy airport safely manages the arrivals and departures of many aircraft… Read More Guide to enhance and practice executive function skills with children from infancy to adolescence