The purpose of this project is to examine the empirical research to date on the relationship between executive functioning, how it benefits academic and social skills, and how this increases school readiness skills in preschoolers. Executive Functions are information processing skills used in organizing ideas, problem solving, and controlling impulses. These information-processing skills include self-regulation, cognitive flexibility and school readiness. These skills can be enhanced in classroom settings through early interventions and teaching methodology. There is extensive research on executive functions and school readiness generally, but little research has looked at how executive functioning enhances both academic and social skills in young children. Articles that emphasized executive function, school readiness, and preschool were retrieved through the electronic Academic Search Complete database. There were 14,700 articles listed that were related to these three topics, and seven of these articles were chosen based on their relevance to predicting later school outcomes. Results described how working on their social skills with students enhanced their academic skills. When preschool instructors emphasized the promotion of executive functions in the classroom, students increased their persistence and attention. Students who performed well on executive functioning assessments also performed well on academic assessments. When students have entered Kindergarten without having had the opportunities within a preschool setting to enhance their executive functions in the classroom, they had difficulties catching up with their peers academically. This body of research supports the use of early instruction in executive control processes as a means to increase school readiness and enhance academic outcomes.

Additional Abstract Information

Student(s): Jeanie Stouffer

Department: Education

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Laura Desportes Bowman

Type: Oral

Year: 2019

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