Robin Jacob quoted in Boston Globe story on executive function coaching

May 24, 2015

In a story in the Boston Globe, “Executive function not a panacea for education ills,” the author discusses the prospective benefits of programs designed to strengthen students’ executive function cognitive skills, the popularity of and rapid adoption of the concept over the past few years, and lack of concrete evidence of program effectiveness in improving academic outcomes.

The author discusses new findings from a survey of research studies conducted by Robin Jacob, research scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, and Julia Parkinson of American Institutes for Research. Jacob and Parkinson reviewed the results from 67 school-based programs to improve executive function and found little causal evidence that executive function training leads to long-term improvements in reading and math.

“We’re really surprised by the lack of support for the notion. Even though intuitively it is super appealing, there just isn’t a lot of really solid evidence out there that shows the link,” says Robin Jacob. Read the story here.