InBrief - Executive Function

InBrief: Executive Function: Skills for Life
and Learning

Being able to focus, hold and work with information in mind, filter distractions, and switch gears is like having a sophisticated air traffic control system to manage information at a busy airport. In the brain, this mechanism is called executive function and self-regulation, a group of skills that, with the right formative experiences, begin to develop in early childhood and continue to improve through the early adult years. A new evidence base has identified these skills as essential for school achievement, success in work, and healthy lives. This two-page summary—part of the InBrief series—outlines how these lifelong skills develop, what can disrupt their development, and how supporting them pays off in school and life. The brief provides an overview of Building the Brain's "Air Traffic Control" System: How Early Experiences Shape the Development of Executive Function, the joint Working Paper by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and the National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs.

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