Can Improving Executive Function Also Improve Reading?

This is the second blog post I’ve written about Executive Function (the first being Our Personal Super Power – Oct 19, 2020). In this post I want to focus on EF’s potential as a critical component of effective reading.

Reading is an incredibly complex skill. It is not an innate ability, but one that is learned over time and involves an intricate dance of neuronal activity between a number of brain areas.

In case you’re interested, here’s a picture that highlights the complexity — no need to memorize it — there won’t be a test later.

Areas of the Brain That are Connected to Reading

And because of this complexity, for students who struggle with reading there can be a multitude of reasons why that is the case.

(More on p.2)

Our Personal Super Power

I have three questions to start today’s post:

  1. Is there a set of ‘Super Skills’ that could propel us towards personal success?
  2. Are they something that all of us use?
  3. Can these skills be taught?

I’ve got great news. There IS something like that. And our understanding of it has existed for quite awhile. But, we need to be spending more time building awareness about it.

It’s called EXECUTIVE FUNCTION … and it’s absolutely critical to our personal success. In BC, we’ve been spending a lot of really good time talking about a number of personal competencies like: Communication, Thinking, and Personal/Social/Emotional Development. These are all really important.

It’s time we build a more universal understanding about Executive Function. This post is my way of starting that conversation.