What is executive functioning? by Charlie Wampfler Director of Academics and Operations

What is executive functioning?

Executive functions are often referred to as the CEOs of the brain. They consist of a set of mental skills that include working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. These areas facilitate an individual’s ability to organize, plan, prioritize, and complete tasks. While these skills come easier to some, most students are still developing these areas and struggle to keep up with daily requirements.

 

What it looks like:

A student who struggles with executive functioning tasks may:

  • Have trouble getting started on an assignment, staying focused on it, and seeing it through to completion
  • Struggle to stay organized
  • Face difficulty with time management and using their time efficiently

 

The EAP Approach: 

Between academics, golf, and being a teenager; high school students are in constant overdrive. At Ethan Allen Prep, students are explicitly taught skills involving time management, organization, and self-monitoring using strategies such as:

  • Breaking big tasks or projects into smaller chunks
  • Using task management materials such as planners, checklists, and mental maps
  • Providing individualized feedback to grow strengths and work on areas of improvement

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