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Edward C Taylor PhD Child and Adolescent Psychologist August 18, 2010. Facilitating Executive Skills Development . The Millennial Experience. The Millennial Environment. Socially and Cognitively, Neither Here Nor There High Volume of Data Presented Rapidly Rapid Shifts in Topic or Place

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edward c taylor phd child and adolescent psychologist august 18 2010
Edward C Taylor PhD

Child and Adolescent Psychologist

August 18, 2010

Facilitating Executive Skills Development

the millennial environment
The Millennial Environment
  • Socially and Cognitively, Neither Here Nor There
  • High Volume of Data Presented Rapidly
  • Rapid Shifts in Topic or Place
  • Compressed Speech
  • Environmentally Directed Awareness
  • Digital and Visual Data
  • Multi-Tasking
environment directed awareness
Environment Directed Awareness
  • Reacting, Not Planning or Reflecting
  • Someone else is making decisions about what, where, how, how long, and how much
  • Control over the life experience is externalized
what can the teacher d0
What Can The Teacher D0 ?

Facilitate Development of the Executive Skills in Order to Internalize Control Over the Student’s Life Experience

executive skills
Executive Skills
  • Facilitate getting the job done
  • Facilitate our growth over time as a consequence of our experiences
  • Allow us to gain greater control over our future
broad categories of executive skills
Broad Categories of Executive Skills
  • Self-Activation
  • Self-Regulation
  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Determination
self activation
  • Lighting Up
self regulation
  • Initiating
  • Modulating
  • Gauging
  • Focus – Selective
  • Focus- Sustaining
  • Stopping-Interrupting
  • Shifting
  • Inhibiting
self regulation1
  • Organizing
  • Foreseeing
  • Generating
  • Associating
  • Balancing
  • Storing
  • Retrieving
  • Pacing
  • Timing
self regulation2
  • Executing
  • Monitoring
  • Correcting
self realization
  • Direct cognitive processes that promote self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-analysis
  • Cue cognitive processes to use this self-knowledge to initiate, sustain, or alter behavior
self determination
  • Foresight, Long Term Planning, and Goal Generation
  • Direct cognitive processes to construct visions of the future and to reflect on the past in order to improve or alter behavior in the future
executive skills facts
Executive Skills Facts
  • Effectiveness is Domain Specific
    • Sensation-Perception
    • Emotion
    • Cognition
    • Action
  • Effectiveness is Arena of Operation Specific
    • Intrapersonal
    • Interpersonal
    • Environment
    • Symbol System
executive skills facts1
Executive Skills Facts
  • Development begins in first years of life and continues through the life span
  • Development occurs in spurts
  • Natural maturational delays can occur
  • There is intra-individual unevenness in development
  • There is inter-individual unevenness
  • There is gender unevenness

Can the environment influence the development of a biologically based set of skills ?

the statue test 1940 vs 2001
The Statue Test 1940 vs 2001



3 year olds 0 minutes

5 year olds 0 minutes

7 year olds 3 minutes

  • 3 year olds 0 minutes
  • 5 year olds 3 minutes
  • 7 year olds long time
imaginative play and the executive skills
Imaginative Play and the Executive Skills

Play in First half of 20th century

Play in Second half of 20th Century

Adult organized and directed

Toy or object focused

Real toys with a specific purpose or theme

Rules are given

TV, video games, or lessons

Schools focus on cognitive skills development to pass the test

  • Unsupervised
  • Child directed
  • In groups
  • Imaginative
  • Activity focused
  • Improvisation
  • Symbolic toys
  • Kids made the rules
  • At home and at school
the play connection
The Play Connection
  • Imaginative play promotes self-regulatory self-talk
  • Self- regulatory self-talk promotes
    • Control over emotions
    • Impulse resistance
    • Planning
    • Plan execution
    • Execution monitoring and self-evaluation
    • Task persistence

Can the environment influence the development of a biologically based set of skills ?


the pathway
The Pathway
  • Facilitate through play and experience
  • Modeling
  • Direct instruction
  • Environmental engineering
  • Process awareness
  • Manage the developmental angst
two step intervention model
Two Step Intervention Model
  • Attempt to Generate Internal Growth
  • Apply External Control When Necessary
two step intervention model1
Two Step Intervention Model
  • Attempt to Generate Internal Growth
  • Apply External Control When Necessary
     “The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist.”
using language to promote internal control
Using Language to Promote Internal Control
  • Internalize, don’t externalize the dilemma
  • “You are the boss of the soup.”
  • What is your priority ?
  • Not deciding is deciding
  • How is that working for you ?
techniques to promote internal control
Techniques to Promote Internal Control
  • Model and Use Self-Talk
  • Encourage Self-Talk, Aloud
  • Model and Use Self-Administered Rewards
  • Model and Use Self-Regulation Routines
  • Teach Self-Regulation Skills
  • Encourage Self-Regulation Behavior
  • Develop a Common Vocabulary for Discussing and Signaling Need for EF
  • State the Goals of Learning Activities
  • Provide Feedback About Performance
two step intervention model2
Two Step Intervention Model
  • Attempt to Generate Internal Growth
  • Apply External Control When Necessary
strategies for teaching executive skills
Strategies For Teaching Executive Skills
  • Classroom routines
  • Classroom rules
  • Classroom organizational systems
  • Learning strategy training
  • Classroom process meetings
  • Managing developmental angst
  • Watch your language
classroom routines
Classroom Routines
  • Beginning the day routine
    • Hand in homework
    • Discuss and make plan for the day’s work
    • Prepare materials for the day’s work
  • End of the day routine
    • Homework assignments written in the planner
    • Backpack materials check
    • Instructions review
    • Review plans for next day
    • Prepare space for the next day
classroom routines development
Classroom Routines Development
  • Teach explicitly
  • Model consistently and overtly
  • Prepare to spend two months
  • Use checklists at first and then fade them
  • Use buddy check system
  • Periodically count frequency of target behaviors to determine effectiveness
classroom rules
Classroom Rules
  • Establish boundaries and mores
  • Train in the same way that routines are taught
  • Post them
pre k and kindergarten
Pre K and Kindergarten
  • Teachers are the children’s frontal lobes in many instances
  • Young children learn and communicate through play
strategies to facilitate executive skills development
Strategies To Facilitate Executive Skills Development
  • Simon Says
    • Thinking
    • Impulse inhibition
  • Complex Imaginative Play
    • Sustained for 30+ minutes
    • Of the 1940’s style
strategies to facilitate executive skills development1
Strategies To Facilitate Executive Skills Development
  • Activities requiring planning
    • Games with directions and goal seeking
    • Construction activities
    • Pattern recognition activities
    • Cooking
  • Joint Storybook Reading
    • Process the characters self-regulatory behavior promoted modeling
    • Mastery models not Expert models
elementary years
Elementary Years
  • Environmental engineering
  • Skills building and introduction of tools
organizational systems
Organizational Systems
  • Folder system
  • Notebook systems
  • A place for everything and everything in its place
  • Gantt charts for projects
  • Make consistent across classes
  • Time management aids: clocks, calendars, timers, and schedules
middle school
Middle School
  • Pre-Copernican Thinkers
middle school1
Middle School
  • Pre-Copernican Thinkers
  • Zen Buddhist Naturalists
learning strategy training
Learning Strategy Training
  • Teach explicitly
  • Discuss content and process simultaneously
  • Post-mortems on tests, papers, etc.
weekly process meetings
Weekly Process Meetings
  • The post-mortem
  • What’s working and what’s not
  • Identify reoccurring problems
  • Encourage student brainstorming
  • Individualize
instructional strategies
Instructional Strategies
  • Offer feedback and opportunities to re-work or re-study, based upon a self-assessment of what did not work
  • Offer multiple choices for demonstrating knowledge and skills
  • Offer pop quizzes as a self-assessment tool
high school and beyond
High School and Beyond

Take advantage of the capacity to self-observe and self-evaluate

facilitating executive skills development in the older student
Facilitating Executive Skills Development In The Older Student
  • High school is about not having to have your mother go to college with you
  • Internalizing the dilemma
  • Giving voice to the resistance
  • Managing the anxiety
  • The student as teacher and mentor
child constraints
Child Constraints
  • Developmental lag
  • Disorders that involve frontal lobe function
  • The child’s non-school environment
  • Question:
    • Lacking capacity ?
      • Developmental ?
      • Static ?
    • Possesses capacity but lacks desire ?
    • Possesses capacity but lacks training ?
systemic constraints
Systemic Constraints
  • Emphasis on knowledge rather than problem solving
  • The thirty-nine week year
  • The 45 minute hour
  • iBrain, Gary Small, MD and GigiVirgan
  • The New Brain, Richard Restak, MD
  • The Overflowing Brain, TorkelKlingberg, MD
  • Executive Functioning. George McCloskey,PhD. Learning and the Brain Conference. Boston, MA, 2007
  • Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents. Dawson, P. & Guare, R., Guilford Press, New York, 2004
  • Executive Functioning in Education. Lynn Meltzer, Ed. Guilford Press, New York, 2007