Executive Function During Teacher Preparation

September, 2017

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 63 (2017) 168-175
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study investigated executive function development during teacher preparation.

The authors employed a three-year longitudinal study. They tracked student teachers annually beginning in the first year and throughout the next three years of their teacher preparation program.
The participants were first year students enrolled on a four-year concurrent undergraduate teacher education program at an institution in the Republic of Ireland.
The authors collected data through online platform called Qualtrics. In spring 2014, students responded to the The Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function- Adult Version (BRIEF-A) (Time 1). The same measure was administered the following spring (2015; Time 2) and again one year later (2016; Time 3).

The findings suggest that pre-service student teachers typically have average levels of metacognition index (MI) and behavioural regulation index (BRI) compared to the wider population.
Furthermore, the results suggest that there was a slight non-significant decrease in the longitudinal mean change of MI and BRI over time.
The authors argue that initial MI and BRI levels did not indicate that there was a significant effect on the MI and BRI growth rate. This finding suggests that raising the executive function level of teachers is something that would need to be addressed within programs, rather than through a review of entry criteria into programs.

The authors conclude that findings from the current data are useful for teacher preparation programs as it highlights the importance of including content to support the development of effective executive function skills. 

Updated: Nov. 13, 2018