Executive Functioning and Learning

Executive Functioning and Learning19 Nov 2018

Executive functioning skills include the mental processes involved in thinking and learning such as perception, memory, organization, planning, time management, attention, flexibility, concept formation, problem solving, and self- regulation skills. All these skills are crucial in having success in learning, emotional/behavioural regulation and social relationships.

Planning/Organization: Ability to set goals and develop steps to achieve them. Students who have difficulty planning and setting priorities. They procrastinate and have trouble starting tasks. They can’t independently generate and organize their ideas. They have trouble thinking through the steps required to achieve a goal. They lose things easily and are disorganized.

Working Memory: Ability to hold information in the mind and manipulate it for the purpose of completing a task. Students with weak working memory are unable to remember and apply crucial information.

Monitoring: Ability to check their work and assess their own performance. Students who are weak at monitoring themselves may not notice that they’re not following directions until someone points this out. They often misjudge their own efforts and results.

Impulse control: Ability to stop and think before acting. Students with this weakness say or do things without thinking of the consequences, often getting them into trouble and affecting social relationships.

Flexibility: Ability to move easily from one activity/situation to another. Students who are inflexible have trouble adjusting to changes. They get easily frustrated when the first attempt to solve a problem fails and are unable to find other ways of solving it.

Emotional/ Behavioural Control: The ability to modulate emotional and behavioural responses appropriately is necessary to build social relationships. Many students struggle with these skills leading to their inability to cope with the demands of school work even though they are very bright and creative. Weaknesses in crucial habits of mind can lead to a spiral of failure and low self-esteem. This can be very stressful for the parents and their child.

The good news, however, is that with the help of a professional, the child can learn these skills and techniques that make the educational system easier to navigate. We, at Ultimate Transformations, provide various exercises to strengthen executive functioning skills and help them understand how they think and learn.