Unformatted text preview: ty withduced no EF improvement.
ula. Two curricula that share
s have been shown to imls of the Mind (Tools) is a
ool and kindergarten develLeong (33) based on work
ygotsky emphasized the imetend play for the early deuring pretend play, children
out of character, remember
roles, and flexibly adjust as
ise. Such play exercises all
s central to Tools. Children
e in a pretend scenario, and
m accountable for following
d Leong initially tried Tools
ting curricula. Children impracticed in those modules,
generalize. For benefits to
training, and challenges to
f what children did all day
re are now interwoven into
ht how to support nascent
ith visual reminders (e.g., a controlling for IQ, gender, social class, and more
rooms have only one of any material, so children
(8). Since “self-control’s effects follow a [linear]
learn to wait until another child is finished. Sevgradient, interventions that achieve even small
improvements in self-control for individuals
eral Montessori activities are essentially walking
could shift the entire distribution of outcomes in a
meditation (Fig. 3).
salutary direction and yield large improvements
As in Tools, the teacher carefully observes
in health, wealth, and crime rate for a nation” (8).
each child (when a child is ready for a new
What Programs Have Been Shown to Help Young
Children Develop These Skills?
challenge, the teacher presents one), and wholeThere is scientific evidence supporting six ap1
group activities are infrequent; learning is handsAdele Diamond * and Kathleen Lee
proaches for improving EFs in the early school
on, often with ≥2 children working together. In
years. Tables S1 and S2 provide details on each
intervention and their outcomes.
To be successful takes creativity, flexibility, self-control, and discipline. Central to all those are
Tools, children take turns instructing or checkComputerized training. The most researched
executive functions, including mentally playing with ideas, giving a considered rather than an
ing one another. Cross-age tutoring occurs in
impulsive response, and staying focused. Diverse activities have been shown to improve children’s approach, and one repeatedly found successful, is
CogMed (Pearson Education, Upper Saddle Rivexecutive functions: computerized training, noncomputerized games, aerobics, martial arts, yoga,
Montessori mixed 3-year age groups. Such childer, NJ) computerized working-memory training
mindfulness, and school curricula. All successful programs involve repeated practice and
to-child teaching has been found repeatedly to
progressively increase the challenge to executive functions. Children with worse executive functions (9 –13), which uses computer games that progressively increase working-memory demands.
benefit most from these activities; thus, early executive-function training may avert widening
produce better (often dramatically better) outachievement gaps later. To improve executive functions, focusing narrowly on them may not be as Youngsters improve on games they practice (Fig. 1),
comes than teacher-le...
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