Todd Rose, Director of the Mind, Brain, & Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, highlights how important cognitive flexibility and shifting are to students’ academic success. As teachers, we sometimes focus so much on exposing students to new strategies that we forget to help them let go of strategies that are not working. No one likes feeling that how they do something is “wrong.” Additionally, students with executive function issues often have a lot of anxiety around how to complete tasks. This makes it harder to give up an old and familiar strategy—even when that approach is not very effective. I have found that students are much more successful if I provide them with a support network so they feel more secure in trying out new learning strategies.
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- Elizabeth Ross, M.A., SMARTS Media Manager