Adele Diamond talks TEDx

from Glenn Goodfellow

Adele Diamond, Ph.D., neuroscientist, psychologist and educational innovator, is one of the world's leading researchers in developmental science--and a great advocate for Montessori. She studies how executive functions can be modified by the environment, modulated by genetics and neurochemistry, become derailed in certain disorders, and can be improved by effective programs and interventions.

For those looking for more information on Executive Functions, some information is included below:

The executive functions are a set of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation.

When children have opportunities to develop executive function and self-regulation skills, researchers like Adele Diamond have found that individuals and society experience lifelong benefits. These skills are crucial for learning and development. They also enable positive behavior and allow us to make healthy choices for ourselves and our families.

Executive function and self-regulation skills depend on three types of brain function: working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control. These functions are highly interrelated. Each type of skill draws on elements of the others, and the successful application of executive function skills requires them to operate in coordination with each other. 

  • Working memory governs our ability to retain and manipulate distinct pieces of information over short periods of time.  
  • Mental flexibility helps us to sustain or shift attention in response to different demands or to apply different rules in different settings. 
  • Self-control enables us to set priorities and resist impulsive actions or responses.

Learn more about Adele Diamond's work and the study of Executive Functioning by visiting her website:

Posted on December 1, 2014 and filed under Primary, Resources, From MNW Staff, Parents.