Course Listing

Virtual Speaker Series

Improving Reading with Executive Functions: Cognitive Skills, the Summer Slide and COVID, Virtual – Summer Institute 2021


  • Type: Spotlight session
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Attendance: Live, attendance required on date and time listed in the course information section
  • Platform: Zoom. Login credentials emailed the day before the course begins



In the context of the pandemic and following the summer vacation, reading regression is a major concern for educators. To help improve reading, this presentation will share current research on reading performance expectations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of summer vacation, and will explore the role of cognitive skills in fostering reading resilience. While reading development requires skills including language, decoding, fluency, and comprehension skills, the ability to acquire these skills also draws on the brain’s Executive Function (EF), which describes cognitive skills that allow us to plan, organize, execute, and monitor our thinking and activities. Attendees will explore reading skills in the broader context of EF, learn about EF categories and relate EF to reading performance with a focus on struggling readers. The presentation puts an emphasis on classroom practices to support EF in service of reading. Presenters will also discuss the current research on how to improve EF for reading through metacognitive skills and training programs.



This course is appropriate for educators at all grade levels.



All necessary materials will be shared electronically.

Course Information

1 Hour
Dates/Time Price
July 13, 2021
1:00-2:00 pm Eastern

Registration is unavailable at this time.

Teachers Say...

Over 98% of educators felt that their Outreach Summer Institute seminar provided them with strategies and tools that will help their students.

About the Instructor

Joanna Christodoulou, PhD

Dr. Joanna Christodoulou leads the Brain, Education, and Mind (BEAM) Team to study the brain and behavior links underlying reading development and difficulty. She is assistant professor at the MGH Institute, adjunct lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and research affiliate at MIT. Current research focuses on reading intervention and summer reading growth. She was awarded the 2014 award for Transforming Education Through Neuroscience Award from the Learning & the Brain Foundation and the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society and was invited to join the first White House Workshop on Neuroscience and Learning.

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