Executive Functioning

What is Execuctive Functioning?

Executive functioning is a set of cognitive processes that are responsible for controlling and coordinating other cognitive processes. It refers to the ability to plan, organize, initiate, and manage complex tasks, and includes skills such as working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control.

In simple terms it is basically the skillset you would be looking for in a competent employee who you would expect to be self-motivated, pro-active and independently motivated.

Why are these skills so important?

It is a skillset that allows an individual to:

Plan ahead

Meet goals

Display self control

Have a great working memory

Quite simply, it’s the skillset you would be looking for when employing someone to do a job. 

Are they competent? 

do they have initiative? 

can I leave them to get on with this job on their own?

Why is this so important?

What research is showing is that students who show aptitude in executive functions achieve better results than students who have a higher IQ but a lower aptitude for executive functioning.

If a student can begin to master these skills not only will it help them in all of their education (other subjects as well as maths such as english, science, languages) but it’s also going to help them massively in their life and career.

Is Executive Functioning taught in Schools?

Executive functioning is not something that is widely taught in schools - if at all. 

The exception is that many independent schools have caught on and are starting to try and develop these skills as they see the value in them.

So in my teaching I’m always trying to give students support and strategies to develop these executive functioning skills because of how important I believe they are.