Executive functioning skills, as opposed to academic skills, are often called soft skills or character traits of learners. These soft skills have been shown to be essential, perhaps even more important than native intelligence, for academic success through the school years and are also related to adult success in the workforce and as family members.

Executive functioning consists of the following four skills:

  • Working memory: Ability to hold information and recall it when necessary
  • Cognitive flexibility: Ability to change tasks, multitask, and adjust mental effort
  • Inhibitory control: Ability to resist distractions no matter how compelling
  • Self-regulation/self-control: Ability to inhibit a dominant response in favor of a less salient one, ability to delay gratification

The skills are described in more detail as follows:

Working memory is the ability to retain information and to ...

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