What is Executive Function?
Executive Function encompasses a variety of specific skills and abilities, including activation, focus, effort, emotion, memory, and action. Previous Free Landmark Teaching Strategies have further explained each of these categories with connections to how to implement specific approaches in class instruction.
Hill, Skill, and Will by Gardner & Horan
Seanna Moran and Howard Gardner, authors of the chapter, “Hill, Skill, and Will: Executive Function from a Multiple Intelligences Perspective” in Lynn Meltzer’s book Executive Function: From Theory to Practice, note that the instructor plays a large role in assisting students to progress from what they call the “apprentice” to “master” stage of learning. In this transition, students learn how to integrate and own their knowledge of themselves as learners through the development of individual authenticity as they become “masters”. Therefore, students who achieve mastery have learned to set a goal (hill), worked to obtain the necessary abilities and techniques for reaching this goal (skill), and developed the volition and perseverance necessary to achieve that goal (will).
For some students, this transition from apprentice to master can be dauntingly difficult. As students begin to understand themselves, they start to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and it can be challenging for students to accept areas of weakness. Therefore, it is important for educators to provide a variety of supports for students to explore and adapt their needs. Technology can provide such support by assisting students in overcoming their challenges, recognizing their weaknesses, and reaching their goals.
How Does This Connect to Landmark’s Teaching Principles™?
While technology can offer options for strategies to help students in making that transition from apprentice to master, it also provides an opportunity to include students in the learning process, which is Landmark’s 6th Teaching Principle. As previously mentioned, students should be encouraged to explore a variety of supports for overcoming challenges. When students engage with different technologies and identify which of these will be beneficial for them, they take a leading role in the development of their own skills. For the full text of the Landmark Teaching Principles™, including “Include Student in Learning Process,” click here.
Moran, S. (2007). Hill, Skill, and Will: Executive Function from a Multiple-Intelligences Perspective. In H. Gardner (Ed.), Executive Function in Education: From Theory to Practice (pp. 19-38). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.