Research Topic

Executive Function and Education

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About this Research Topic

Executive function is an umbrella term for various cognitive processes that are central to goal-directed behavior, thoughts, and emotions. These processes are especially important in novel or demanding situations, which require a rapid and flexible adjustment of behavior to the changing demands of the ...

Executive function is an umbrella term for various cognitive processes that are central to goal-directed behavior, thoughts, and emotions. These processes are especially important in novel or demanding situations, which require a rapid and flexible adjustment of behavior to the changing demands of the environment.

The development of executive functions relies on maturation of associated brain regions but also on stimulation by the context of the child. Over the past decade, there has been growing interest in the relationship between executive function development and successful functioning in a range of different domains related to the educational context. The term ‘executive function’ has become a buzzword in the field of education as both researchers and educators underscore the importance of skills like goal setting, planning, organizing, but also of the educational context, to academic success or failure. The complexity of the construct of executive function and the diversity of topics related to education however hampers a thorough view of the current state of affairs in this important field. Therefore, the main aim of this Research Topic is to provide an organized collection of several contributions, as well as a forum for discussion and debate on different perspectives and approaches to understanding the links among various executive function components and educational success. This collection should facilitate communication between researchers from different fields, as well as provide a theoretically sound source of information for workers in the field of education. In order to achieve the aim of cohesion, we will share the accepted abstracts to all contributors.

We would like to welcome researchers with various expertise and using different research methods to contribute original empirical research. Contributions can be articles describing original research, methods, meta-analyses or meta-regressions, hypothesis & theory, opinions, etc. We hope that researchers from different areas, such as developmental psychology, educational psychology, experimental psychology, neuropsychology, clinical psychology, psychiatry, etc. will be represented in this Research Topic.

Issues that we would like to address include:
• (Individual differences in the) development of executive functions in relation to school performance,
• The impact of executive functions on behavioral/social/emotional functioning in a classroom setting (i.e., broader definition of school functioning than just school performance),
• Context factors in relation to executive functions and education (e.g., quality of instruction and teacher-student in relation to the development of executive functions),
• Interventions in relation to executive functions and education.


Keywords: Executive function, Education, Goal directed behavior, Cognitive development, Educational success, Educational failure, School performance, Social development, Emotional development, Instruction, Teacher-student relationship, Intervention, Development, Children, Planning, Organizing, Cognitive flexibility, Inhibition, Training


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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