How can teachers contribute to develop executive functions
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How can teachers contribute to develop executive functions

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How can teachers contribute to develop executive functions

How can teachers contribute to develop executive functions
PATRIZIA TORTELLA

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How can teachers contribute to develop executive functions How can teachers contribute to develop executive functions Presentation Transcript

  • HOW CAN TEACHERS CONTRIBUTE TO DEVELOP EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS THROUGH MOTOR ACTIVITY? Tortella P.*, Fumagalli G.+, Tessaro F.* * University of Cà Foscari (Venice – Italy) + University of Verona - Center for research on motor development in childhood - - Italy 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 1
  • What are the executive functions? They are top-down mental processes needed when you need to concentrate and pay attention. The three core EFs are: Lehto et al. 2003; Miyake et al. 2000) 1) INHIBITION (inhibitory control) self-control (behavioral inhibition) interferente control (selective attention and cognitive inhibition) 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and 2 family learning for the lifelong learning https://www.google.it/search?q=marshmallow+test&hl=it&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4ACAW_itIT418IT418&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=iJ5mUtq_BYSO7QbF7oDwAQ&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1239&bih=581 society
  • Core EFs 2) WORKING MEMORY (hold information in mind and mentally work with it) 3) COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY (set shifting, mental flexibility, mental set shifting and closely linked to creativity): change perspectives or approaches to a problem 4) REASONING 5) PROBLEM SOLVING 6) PLENNING 7) ATTENTION (Collins & Koechlin, 2012) 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 3
  • EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS depend on a neural circuit in which the prefrontal cortex plays a fundamental role (Anderson, Jacobs & Anderson, 2008; Bialystok & Craik, 2005; Lunt et al., 2012). 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 4
  • (Excerpted from Richard Restak’s The Brain, Bantam Books, 1984.) New York: Damage to areas of the prefrontal cortex reduces inhibitions and self-concern, causing an indifference to the consequences of one’s behavior. (Phineas Gage Brain) 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 5
  • Why are the executive functions important? MARITAL HARMONY MENTAL HEALTH Executive functions are important to every aspect of life QUALITY OF LIFE SCHOOL SUCCES 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational Diamond A., (2013). Executive Functions, Annu. Rev. relationship: intergenerational and Psychol., 64,135-168. www.annualreviews.org. family learning for the lifelong learning society 6
  • • Poorer Efs are associated with obesity, overeating, Physical substance abuse and poor treatment adherence health Quality • People with better Efs enjoy a better quality of life of life School • Efs are more important for school readiness than are IQ or entry-level reading or math readine ss • Efs predict both math and reading competence School throughout the school years success 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Diamond A., (2013). Executive Functions, Annu. Rev. Rumania Transforming the educational Psychol., 64,135-168. www.annualreviews.org. relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 7
  • TRANING AND PRACTICE IMPROVE EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS (Diamond & Lee, 2011, Klingberg, 2010) • CogMed ©computerized training (Bergman Nutley et al., 2011, Holmes et al., 2009; Klingbert et al., 2005; Thorell et al., 2009) • Task-switching computerized training (Karbach & Kray, 2009) • Taekwondo traditional martial arts (Lakes & Hoyt, 2004) • Add-ons to school curricula, Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS; Riggs et al., 2006) • Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP; Raver et al., 2008, 2011) 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 8
  • OTHER STUDIES • • • • AEROBICS (Davis et al., 2011, Kamijo et al., 2011) Mindfulness (Flook et al., 2010) Yoga (Manjunath & Telles, 2001) Tools of the Mind early childhood curriculum (Diamond et al., 2007) • Montessori curriculum (Lillard & Else-Quest, 2006) 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 9
  • Can motor activity contribute to develop the executive functions? • Taekwondo traditional martial arts (Lakes & Hoyt, 2004) • AEROBICS (Davis et al., 2011, Kamijo et al., 2011) • Yoga (Manjunath & Telles, 2001) • Exercising bimanual coordination (Hillman et al., 2008; Chaddock et al., 2011) It is reasonable to think that sport might be very benefit, thanks to challenge EFs (requiring sustanined attention, working memory) (Diamond, 2011) 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 10
  • How can teachers help children in improving their school readiness? FEW PRINCIPLES • The disadvantaged children benefit the most from any EFs intervention or program (Flook et al., 2010; Karbach & Kray, 2009; Lakes & Hoyt, 2004) • If difficulty doesn’t increase, the activity becomes boring and people lose interest. (Bergman Nutley et al., 2011; Holmes et al., 2009; Klingberg et al., 2005) • Repeated practice is necessary. The success dipends on the amount of time spent working on improving the skills (Klingberg et al., 2005) 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 11
  • • At any age EFs can be improved, including in the elderly and in infants (Erickson & Kramer, 2009; Voss et al., 2011) • Bilingualism appears to accellerate EF developent during childhood and preserve EFs longer during aging (Bialystok & Viswanathan, 2009) • Exercise plus character development are efficacious in improving EFs (Lakes & Hoyt, 2004) 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 12
  • SUMMARY POINTS • Emotional, social and physical needs are necessary for academic excellence; • Stress, sadness, loneliness, lack of sleep, lack of physical exercise couse suffering in prefrontal cortex and in EFs; • Good executive functions in children predict lifelong achievement, health, wealth and quality of life; • EFs are trainable and can be improved at any age by different approaches; • Repeated practice is the key. 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 13
  • OPEN QUESTIONS • What can parents do to aid the development of EFs in their children? • Which are the best programs, what are the best doses, durations, frequency, how long do benefit last? • Which activities not yet studied might improve EFs? 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 14
  • The playground, a space to improve motor skills and EFs • To improve health and motor activity is important to propose spaces and opportunity of activity. • Play in outdoor spaces improves te welfare of children (Ginsburg, K., R., 2007). • stay in green park improve childen’s attention and concentration skills. • Significative experiences depend on frequency, intensity and duration of motor activity (Klingberg et al., 2005). 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 15
  • • Child perception of difficult in free or structured motor activity affects on the level of his motivation and self efficacy (Tortella et al., 2012) • Extreme requests produce frustration and abandonment of the game. • Motor activity contribute to cognitive development (EFs) when is associated with awareness and meta cognitive processes, accompanied by passion and enthusiasm (Hirt, Devers & McCrea, 2008). 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 16
  • The Playground Primo Sport 0246 – Treviso, Italy (built on a project for motor development ) 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 17
  • The space is divided in 4 areas for motor development of 0-6 years old children 4 3 2 3 1. 2. 3. 4. balance Dexterity Mobility Symbolic activity 1 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 18
  • THE RESEARCH AIM: TO INDIVIDUATE IF AND HOW CAN TEACHERS CONTRIBUTE TO DEVELOP EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS THROUGH MOTOR ACTIVITY 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 19
  • SUBJECTS: 5 Kindergardens of Treviso (Italy) with 190 4-5 years old children; • A) sperimental group (n. 40, 5 y old children); teachers encourage verbally and physically the children to play in proximal zone (Vygotskij, 1978); tell the child to observe the activity of the child before him and to begin the activity when the other has arrived to a certain point of the path. While is waiting every child has his defined place • B) control group (n. 40, 5 years old children); teachers don’t encourage the children every child begins the activity without indications the children has not a defined place where to stay while waiting Both groups are attending the Playground, 2 hours a week, for 10 weeks; each session is organized in 30 minutes of free play and 30 minutes of structured play in the areas of dexterity and balance. 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 20
  • METHODOLOGY (QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE) • PRE AND POST MOTOR AND COGNITIVE TESTS: ABC Movement tests, (Henderson, Sugden & Barnett, 2007); Day night test (Gerstandt Hong, Diamond, 1994); Haga M., tests (2009); • Questionnaire, interviews and focus groups with teachers and parents; • Focus groups with children 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 21
  • PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOCUS GROUPS: after 10 weeks of activity. Teachers tell that children of group A (sperimental) are more: • able to cooperate and collaborate with each other • have a greater capacity to wait • have greater ability to organize space • more attention 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 22
  • Motor tests SIGNIFICANT RESULTS (0,001) in motor development: • Balance • Dexterity In both A and B groups 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 23
  • CONCLUSION Preliminary data seem to indicate that 10 weeks of motor activity in the playgrounds contribute to improve: 1) (group A-B) • motor skills: balance and dexterity 2) (group A) • Executive Functions • Motor skills: balance and dexterity • Inhibition • Planning • Attention 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 24
  • CONCLUSION • encourage verbally and physically the children; • play motor activity in proximal zone (Vygotskij, 1978); • invite the child to observe the activity of the child before him ; • autonomously begin the activity to a fixed signal • Maintain a position while waiting 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 25
  • Seems to be a good opportunity : 1. To improve motor skills 2. To improve EFs 3. to reduce social disparities, by reducing the EFs gap before school entry 4. Improve social skills 5. Improve health 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 26
  • Thank you for your attention! patrizia.tortella@gmail.com 24-25 October 2013 Bucharest, Rumania Transforming the educational relationship: intergenerational and family learning for the lifelong learning society 27