The way learning and living is complicated when we have trouble with organization

1. Support all faculty in being competent with and attentive to email communications, especially at times when students are likely to be doing homework such as evenings Sunday – Thursday
2. Support all faculty in Posting all assignments and the materials needed for them (worksheets, notes, readings, etc.) as well as due dates, on a generally accessible web site (like http://moodle.org/).
3. Maintain a similar spot where students and their parents can check whether assignments have been turned in.
4. Replace the almost instinctive belief in student laziness with its opposite, and communicate actively to students that you believe they can and want to learn whatever subject you teach.
5. Arrange to have most student work done in school, and provide staffed “study hall” time in which students can complete their “homework” prior to leaving school for the day.

Comments on: "Top 5 things I would have schools do in support of kids with less than optimal executive functions" (2)

  1. Arnie Thomas said:

    Dear Dr2B,

    I would only add, 6. Teach, train, and model executive function. Show what those of us who lack it what it looks like (not just berate us for what we cannot do and that you take for granted!!! ;-(
    My executive dysfunction is debilitating to the point that at 51 years old, I am becoming unemployable. Do the terms “neural-plasticity” and “developmentaly delayed” mean I could ‘learn’ or ‘develop’ a healthy executive function like stroke victims relearn to walk and talk?

  2. Hi Arnie,
    I agree completely! I’ll extend your point to say that making executive function instruction explicit: How to get your materials together so you’ll have everything you need to accomplish the assignment, being part of the lesson – each lesson is important. It tends to be done in first grade and maybe even second, but after that the assumption is that everyone “got it” and any failure in an individual’s enactment of it is rooted in an avoidance of responsibility.

    My experience is that this attribution is often faulty. If there is avoidance going on, it is more likely to be avoidance of embarrassment than responsibility.

    Now, the second part of your post asked about whether or not improvement in your EF is possible after the age of 50. I’d say yes. The thing to do is identify an area of your life that is troublesome in terms of EF and then work with someone on retraining yourself in that set of behaviors. It will take time, and you will have to be patient with yourself, but it can be done. Brains continue to develop and learn through the lifespan. Here are some references for you:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/103/33/12523.full
    http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2008/11/12/neuroplasticity-and-the-brain-that-changes-itself/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: