Brain with a puzzle piece missing.

What is the Role of Executive Function in Expert Learning?

The principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can assist to integrate resources, provide explicit exposure to, and establish supports in the environment to shape experiences and behaviors to improve expert learning.

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Following directions, beginning an assignment, knowing how to respond to open-ended questions or prompts, managing time and materials, making a plan, and prioritizing what is most important rely on the brain’s most complex systems. When such demands outweigh a learner's capacities, educators may observe disengagement, anxiety/irritability, or other task-avoidant behaviors (e.g., impulsivity, procrastination). What do these behaviors signal and how do we best support all learners proactively in order to promote and build the most efficient expert learning skills and strategies? Across contexts, educators can foster executive function (EF) skill development. Doing so starts with an accurate assessment of a learner’s EF functioning, as well as their ability to enact or perform tasks that require EF skills. Next, educators can proactively design and plan curricula to support EF skill acquisition and performance in learning environments, which can have a positive effect on learners. The principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can assist to integrate resources, provide explicit exposure to, and establish supports in the environment to shape experiences and behaviors to improve expert learning.

Creative Commons Licence

Authors/Creators: 
Alexis Ann Reid

Organization/Publishers: 
UDL-IRN

UDL Guidelines:

Self-regulation
Expression & Communication

Problem Area:

Behavioral Issues

Resource File Type:

Document

Accessibility:

WCAG v2.0 A

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Posted date:

December 19, 2018
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