Given that students spend much more time outside of school than in the classroom, partnering with parents can be an effective way to help children and youth enhance their executive function. Reinforcing messages and strategies related to taking charge of their thinking at home also illustrates how truly useful it can be to be the boss of your brain.
Many parents won't be familiar
with the concept of executive function—or indeed the idea of guiding
students to learn how to learn. In their own K-12 education, today's
parents likely never encountered lessons about how the human brain
learns and how people can become more effective learners. As a result,
it will be helpful to share three key messages with parents:
The term executive function refers to the capacities of the human mind
to develop and carry out plans, to get and stay organized, to make
decisions, to hold information in working memory, and to focus attention
on the task at hand. A helpful metaphor is to think of executive
function as the brain's CEO directing other parts of the brain, such as
those that control the senses and body movement, to take action to carry
out plans and perform tasks.
2. Many people believe
that these kinds of thinking skills are inherent (for example, you're
either naturally organized or you're not), but researchers have
established that it is possible to improve various aspects of executive
function through conscious effort and practice. For instance, over time,
you can improve your working memory, which makes it easier to solve
problems and remember all the steps in a task.
are simple strategies that you can use at home with your children to
help them—and you—learn to think smarter. Enhancing executive function
can make a difference in schoolwork, on the job, and in personal
pursuits such as hobbies and other pastimes.
Read the entire post at Edutopia.com.