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Skills for Success: Executive Functions in Early Childhood

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Skills for Success: Executive Functions in Early Childhood

Presenter: Ellen Galinsky


For over 20 years, Ellen Galinsky has been studying what are called executive function skills. Hundreds of studies have shown that these skills are predictive of achievement, health, wealth, school readiness, quality of life, and success throughout the school years from preschool through university—often more so than IQ or socioeconomic status. But the importance of these skills doesn't stop in childhood. There is abundant evidence that executive functions are crucial for success in getting (and keeping) a job, career advancement, making (and keeping) friends, and marital harmony. Adults with better executive function skills report that they are happier and have a better quality of life.

Research reveals that there are five executive function based life skills that are of great importance:
1. Setting goals and strategies to achieve them
2. Perspective taking, communicating, and collaborating
3. Creativity
4. Problem solving
5. Taking on challenges

In her UpLearning session, Ellen will discuss these skills and how you can use them in your work with children, as well as in your own life.

Ellen Galinsky is the Chief Science Officer of the Bezos Family Foundation and President of the Families and Work Institute. She's conducted research on child care, parent-professional relationships, parental development, work-family issues, and youth voice. She is currently writing a book about adolescence called The Breakthrough Years, is the best-selling author of Mind in the Making, and has written more than 100 books/reports and 300 articles. Other highlights include serving as a parent expert in the Mister Rogers Talks to Parents television series; as a child care expert on Dr. T. Berry Brazelton's television series What Every Baby Knows; being the elected President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); and being elected to the National Academy of Human Resources. In her honor, the Work and Family Researchers Network awards the biennial Ellen Galinsky Generative Researcher Award.


Register to watch the recording below.

Ellen Galinksy
Ellen Galinsky