account arrow-down-linearrow-down-small arrow-downarrow-download arrow-left-small arrow-leftarrow-link arrow-rightarrow-upaudio-less-volume audio-not-playing audio-plus-volume audio awarded books calendar close-modal closedate document education emailevent Facebookhamburger impact instagramjustice linkedin location-outline location opinion page phonepinterestplay pluspost preview project reports search-bigsearch-old search share startime twitterwelfare youtube zoom-in zoom-out

Trialling an executive function training intervention for preschoolers

Researchers: Dr Daniel Carroll | Dr Danielle Matthews ...

By Nuffield Foundation

Project overview


Research has shown that executive functioning skills ‘ such as being able to pay attention, inhibit impulsive behaviours and keep relevant information in mind ‘ are important for effective learning.

There is also evidence that school-age children’s executive functions can be improved through cognitive training and that cognitive training can be particularly effective for children with poor initial skills.

This study focuses on typically developing pre-school children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. It will test whether a short executive function training programme gives lasting benefits on a range of academic outcomes. It will also explore whether the effects of the intervention are greater for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The intervention involves children completing four computerised tasks, once a week for four weeks. The intervention will be evaluated via a randomised controlled trial, comparing children who take part in the executive functioning training programme with an active control group.

The project aims to help close the achievement gap by targeting strong predictors of academic outcomes at an early age when children might benefit most from training.

Team


  • Dr Daniel Carroll
    University of Sheffield
  • Dr Danielle Matthews
    University of Sheffield
  • Dr Lucy Cragg
    University of Nottingham
  • Dr Emma Blakey
    University of Cardiff

  • Programme Head, Education
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

Explore our projects

Search projects

We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.

Profile