Every true educator wants the best for all their learners and in almost all classrooms, we find disengaged learners, seemingly inattentive, and lacking the ability to process information.

Personally, I would say having some of these learners make the class rather energetic. We discover some of these learners missing deadlines or turning up late for classes sections.

Assessments of these learners clearly identify these learners with needs in Executive functioning. Executive functioning affects problem-solving abilities, concentration, organisation, among other traits. Executive function could refer to a set of mental skills which does include working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. All these skills are needed daily and for every day work. Trouble with these skills can make it hard to focus, follow directions, and handle emotions, among other things. Executive functioning is one of the eight key domains necessary for thinking and learning. Others are literacy, numeracy, visual information processing speed, non-verbal memory, visual. perception, verbal reasoning, and verbal memory.

Hidden needs in one or more of these domains can present consistent barriers to learning. Note the term ,”hidden.” This is an intrinsic barrier to learning and will require a higher level of support for the learner to reach full potential.  Accordingly, awareness of this and more is imperative and creates room for a greater level of empathy. Lead learners  need to operate with a higher level of direction and positivity, rather than taking a down spiral approach.

Education can no longer remain as a one size fits all for all learners. Learning must be delivered effectively in varying forms to respond to the varying styles and needs of learning. True inclusivity requires learning to include all forms of processing styles.

Positive adjustments and effective coping strategies can be very helpful to create room for more engaged learning, higher self-esteem, and foster a better relationship between the learner and lead learner.

Watch this space for more on varying tailored approaches and coping strategies regarding executive functioning.


Department for Education. (2020),
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/875553/Apprenticeships_Evaluation_-_Learner_Report.pdf (Accessed: 16 September 2020)