Simply put, “executive functioning skills” is a wide term for self-management. These skills consist of self-regulation and mental control. They assist in goal-setting and goal-reaching an are incredibly useful in a school setting and work setting. Many have these skills to a moderate degree, yet not everyone has taken the necessary steps to hone and train these skills in a way that will significantly increase their learning potential and capacity for success.
The following is a list of basic executive functioning skills:
- Emotional control
- Time Management
- Goal Setting
- Flexible thinking
- Sustained attention
All of these skills can be developed through consistent practice and use; however, because these skill sets are oftentimes not considered when dealing with children and learning, they are not taught as part of a solution when problems arise at home or at school. All of these attributes listed above can and do help students achieve better results and process information more quickly and efficiently, yet when executive functioning skills are neglected, students can regress and their work can suffer.
Rush NeuroBehavioral Center lists six common ways to tell if a student might have problems with his or her executive functioning skills.
The student might have problems or lack skills in any of the following areas:
- organizing work
- taking a task to completion
- managing materials such as classwork or homework
- managing time
- attention or focus during activities
- social difficulties
These signs point to a need to pay closer attention to a student’s executive functioning skills and his or her development thereof. Through better practices and closer attention to executive functioning skills, students will be able to effectively manage their coursework, their education, and themselves.
Learning these effective skills are usually not included in the coursework of a school day. Academic Success provides Student Success 101, an effective program which teaches these essential skills to students in grades 6 through 12. Students of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from learning the skills taught in Student Success 101. Find out more information about Student Success 101 here.
Cooper-Kahn, Joyce, and Laurie Deitzel. "What Is Executive Functioning?" LD Online. Web.Morin, Amanda. "At a Glance: 8 Key Executive Functions." Understood.org. 13 Feb. 2014. Web.
"Executive Function." Rush NeuroBehavioral Center. Web.