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All successful programs involve repeated practice and

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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 s. 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 REVIEW (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 1 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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