Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Instruction and Curriculum: Early Childhood Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Nagnon Diarrassouba

Academic Year



Executive function (EF) is an umbrella term used to describe the group of higher order thinking and regulatory processes. They are the brain functions that enable working memory, inhibitory control, and attentional or mental flexibility and there are many factors that impact the early development. Research confirms that EF skills are malleable and can be improved through preschool experiences. Early support and intervention are especially important for children who enter school with poorer executive function skills and are at risk because of social, economic, or other adverse childhood experiences. This project aims to provide a workshop and training handbook for the teachers at the Leelanau Children’s Center focused on executive function skills, why they are important for school and life success, and the strategies found in the research to improve young learners’ skills. The focal points are on improving teacher-child interactions, classroom climate, and using play as a central context for development. The ultimate purpose being that children gain the experiences that can strengthen executive function and improve self-regulation behavior to have a more successful entry into kindergarten.