Title

Executive Functioning Skills and Their Effect on Knowledge Acquisition in Kindergarten

Date of Award

Winter 12-19-2019

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction

Department

Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Belma Sadikovic

Keywords

Executive Functioning, Kindergarten

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects that low executive functioning skills have on a student’s ability to learn new information. Executive functioning skills are the necessary skills children need in order to carry out tasks and be a part of a community. The researcher assessed students' letter identification and sound knowledge in an initial assessment and after a 4-week instructional period. The researcher also evaluated each child's executive functioning skills in the areas of response inhibition, emotional control, and impulse management. Once those three data points were collected, the researcher compared the letter ID and sound knowledge growth made by students who scored below average on the executive functioning evaluation and those who scored average or above average. The hypothesis for this research was as follows: The students who have low executive functioning skills will not make as much progress toward acquiring their letter and sound knowledge because of their deficit areas in executive functioning. Therefor when looking to provide interventions for the low scoring child, a small group that focuses on executive functioning skills would be more effective than one that focuses on letter and sound acquisition.

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