Topic: executive function

All resources related to executive function are displayed below. View Key Concepts: Executive Function & Self Regulation for an overview of this topic.

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Executive Function InBrief

InBrief: Executive Function

This brief describes why executive function skills are essential for school achievement, success in work, and healthy lives.

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A cover image from the Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts paper, showing the title and an image of two parents kissing their baby

From Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts

This report synthesizes 15 years of dramatic advances in the science of early childhood and early brain development, analyzes evidence generated by 50 years of program evaluation research, and presents a framework for driving science-based innovation in early childhood policy and practice.

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Executive Function video still

InBrief: Executive Function: Skills for Life and Learning

This five-minute video explains how executive function skills develop, what can disrupt their development, and how supporting them pays off in school and life.

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Activities Guide: Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence

This 16-page guide describes a variety of activities and games that represent age-appropriate ways for adults to support and strengthen various components of executive function and self-regulation in children.

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Working Paper 11 cover

Building the Brain’s “Air Traffic Control” System: How Early Experiences Shape the Development of Executive Function

This working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child explains how executive function skills develop, what can disrupt their development, and how supporting them pays off in school and life.

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children with caregiver/teacher

8 Things to Remember about Child Development

In this important list, featured in the From Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts report, the Center on the Developing Child sets the record straight about some aspects of early child development.

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Brain-Building Through Play: Activities for Infants, Toddlers, and Children

  View Handouts  From infancy on, play is an important part of a child’s life. For babies and toddlers, simple, playful interactions with adults help develop sturdy brain architecture, the foundations of lifelong health, and the building blocks of resilience. Through games and playful activities, children can practice and strengthen important executive function skills that […]

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Mejora y Práctica de las Habilidades de Función Ejecutiva con Niños desde la Infancia Hasta la Adolescencia

Las habilidades de función ejecutiva y de autorregulación proporcionan un apoyo decisivo para el aprendizaje y el desarrollo. Al igual que un sistema de control del tránsito aéreo en un aeropuerto concurrido gestiona las llegadas y los despegues de muchos aviones en diversas pistas, las habilidades de función ejecutiva nos permiten retener y trabajar con […]

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Executive Function infographic thumbnail

What Is Executive Function? And How Does It Relate to Child Development?

As essential as they are, we aren’t born with the skills that enable us to control impulses, make plans, and stay focused. In this infographic, learn more about what executive function skills are, why they’re important, and how they’re built.

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Motivation Brain

The Brain Circuits Underlying Motivation: An Interactive Graphic

The brain circuits underlying motivation are critical for attention, learning, and decision-making. In this interactive graphic, learn about the different parts of the brain that affect motivation and how they interact.

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Working Paper 14 cover

Understanding Motivation: Building the Brain Architecture That Supports Learning, Health, and Community Participation

A healthy, engaged community depends on people achieving to the best of their potential, contributing actively to the economy and public well-being, and helping the next generation to thrive. A complex set of intertwined social and biological factors influences people’s motivation to participate actively and productively in schools, jobs, and communities–and to persevere in the […]

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cover of guide

Building the Core Skills Youth Need for Life: A Guide for Education and Social Service Practitioners

All youth need to develop a set of core life skills to manage school, work, outside interests, and social relationships successfully. No one is born with these skills, but everyone can learn them through practice.

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Building Core Capabilities for Life brain graphic with airplanes

How Children and Adults Can Build Core Capabilities for Life

Every day we take on the ordinary, sometimes challenging, tasks of work, school, parenting, relationships, and just managing our busy lives. How do we navigate these tasks successfully? And what can send us off course? Science offers an explanation.

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Adult capabilities handout thumbnail

Building the Skills Adults Need for Life: A Guide for Practitioners

This guide for practitioners explains the science behind our core life skills, what affects their development, and how practitioners can help adults build them.

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Intergenerational Mobility Project: Building Adult Capabilities for Family Success

This video profiles the Intergenerational Mobility Project and its use of a coaching framework to strengthen families’ ability to navigate the complexities of poverty.

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Ready4Routines: Building the Skills for Mindful Parenting

This video focuses on Ready4Routines, a project which supports parents as they work with their children to build regular family routines.

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Why Do Some Children Respond to an Intervention and Others Don’t?

In this science talk, Nathan A. Fox talks about the limitations of traditional early childhood intervention studies, which examine the effects of programs on large groups of children with the hope that one size fits all.

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Using Brain Science to Build a New 2Gen Intervention

In a “TED-style talk,” Stephanie M. Jones describes a new intervention that links the science of brain development with supports for adults and children.

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A screenshot of the training module showing the various parts of the course you can take

Training Module: Health Care Practitioner Module and Resources

The Florida State University Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy (CPEIP), working in collaboration with the Center on the Developing Child and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), developed these Early Childhood Health Optimization resources for pediatricians, OB/GYNs, and Care Coordinators across the state of Florida. Available free of charge via CPEIP’s website, the resources include an interactive, multimedia module (approximately 52 minutes) and discussion guide introducing practitioners to the science of early childhood development, toxic stress, executive function, resilience, and mental health.

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Beth Babcock

Using Brain Science to Create New Pathways out of Poverty

EMPath CEO and Frontiers of Innovation associate Beth Babcock spoke at TEDxBeaconStreet about taking a science-informed approach to breaking the cycle of poverty. Her talk explains how poverty impairs the development of executive function in the brain, and shares the success of new coaching models that allow clients to practice and rebuild their executive function skills.

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