THE IMPACT OF THE LEARNING EXPERIENCES BASED ON EF GUIDELINE ON CHILDREN'S EXECUTIVE FUNCTION SKILLS: A CASE STUDY OF A KINDERGARTEN IN BANGKOK
National Institute for Child and Family Development, Mahidol University (THAILAND)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract: According to the World Economic Forum 2016, the major skills requiring students to achieve in the 21st century involve complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence, judgment and decision making, negotiation and cognitive flexibility. A number of research shows that the 21st century skills are related to executive function of the brain (EF). EF is a set of higher-order brain processes that enable us to use previous experiences for making good decisions, controlling emotions, and regulating self. One of the most significant factors to promote EF skills in children is the learning experience to which teachers plan challenge children in classrooms.
The purpose of the research was to investigate the impact of the learning experiences based on EF guideline on children's EF skills. EF Guideline is the tool that was developed by the collaboration between National Institute for Child and Family Development, Mahidol University and RLG Institute and funded by Thai Health Promotion Foundation, with an aim to help kindergarten teachers realize the importance of teachers' roles of promoting children's EF skills in planning the learning experiences. These involve clear objectives, media, procedure, environment and atmosphere that enhance the use of EF skills in children’s learning, coordinating with others and daily lives. The objectives of the study were (1) to analyze the differences between the pretest scores on EF skills and the posttest scores on EF skills of the children within the treatment group and (2) to analyze the differences in the posttest scores on EF skills between the children in the treatment and control groups.
The purposive sampling method is utilized in this research. The total sample was 94 children (49 children in the treatment group and 45 children in the control group) at ages of 4-5 years old, studying at a Kindergarten in Bangkok. The children in the treatment group refer to those whose teachers participated in the EF Guideline Training Program and used the EF Guideline for planning their learning experiences throughout the semester. The children in the control group refer to those whose teachers did not participate in the EF Guideline Program and plan their learning experiences based on their own experience instead of the EF Guideline.
For the data analysis, a paired sample t-test was utilized to evaluate the differences in the mean scores on EF skills between pre and post test of the treatment group. A series of multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVA) was also utilized to evaluate the differences in the posttest mean scores on EF skills between the treatment and control groups. The results of this study showed that the children in the treatment group significantly have higher posttest mean scores on EF skills, comparing to their pre test scores. In addition, the children in the treatment group had significantly higher posttest scores than those in control group for all subscales in MU.EF Assessment. The results indicated that the learning experiences based on EF Guideline have positive impact on children's EF skills. The implications, limitations, and suggestions will be discussed.
Keywords: The Learning Experiences, Ef Guideline, Executive Function Skills, Kindergarteners.