Executive Functions: Inescapable Impact on Learning and Teaching

Professional Development


Few of us have been trained to incorporate executive function supports into our classroom instruction, or help individual students develop more executive function control. Yet there is little that more strongly affects classroom learning than executive functions.

Executive functions (EFs) are self-regulation and self-monitoring skills, such as metacognition, organization, cognitive flexibility, impulse control, and information "juggling" capacity. These and other skills underlie the ability to process information, focus and sustain attention, and strategize. They are partly developmental, but also sensitive to a child's development within different cultural environments. This means that in diverse classrooms, not all children will have developed the same set of executive functions, or to the same degree. Without understanding what EFs are, their impact on the learning-teaching process, strategies to incorporate them in our instruction, and ways to help students develop them, it's like we teach with one hand tied behind our back. But if we understand them and how to work with them, all learners - especially Special Education students, English learners, and any learner who struggles academically - will improve their classroom performance.

Among other things, this training will address:

  • Identifying the most impactful EFs in academic settings
  • Exploring how those EFs impact performance in literacy and numeracy
  • Incorporating an EF perspective in classroom instruction
  • Understanding the role of EFs in UDL (Universal Design for Learning)
  • Learning ways to scaffold the development of individual students' EF skills

Audience and Grade Level

Teachers and Administrators, Grades PK - 12


15 PDPs will be awarded to participants upon completion of these two days of training, in addition to outside readings and assignments (as per DESE regulations). Note that these 15 PDPs will satisfy the SPED-related requirement for recertification.


Future training dates will be announced here. If you have questions or are interested in offering this training on-site, please contact us.


  • Ken Pransky has been a teacher and teacher educator for 35 years in the US and abroad, teaching, coaching, and training, specializing in helping teachers work with struggling learners, including English learners.

For more information, contact:
Events Coordinator
413.586.4900 x5981


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide. 

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at collaborative.org. You may also call 413.588.5979 after 6:30am for information about classes that day.