Volume 22, Issue 4 (Winter 2021)                   Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2021, 22(4): 94-113 | Back to browse issues page

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Mir Mohammad Sadeghi M, Fahimifar M J, Azad Manjir F. A systematic review of programs improving executive functions and social-emotional skills of preschoolers. Advances in Cognitive Sciences. 2021; 22 (4) :94-113
URL: http://icssjournal.ir/article-1-1126-en.html
1- Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Mind, Brain and Education, Institute for Cognitive Science Studies (ICSS), Tehran, Iran
2- PhD Student of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
3- MA in Educational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (394 Views)
Introduction: The high importance of preschool in activating childrenchr('39')s cognitive capacities, executive functions and social-emotional skills is evident to researchers in this area. Regarding this matter, the present study, to obtain an overview of the existing studies in this area, aimed to conduct a systematic review of the existing intervention programs to improve preschools’ the level of executive functions and social-emotional skills.
Methods: In this systematic review, English-language research in the fields of the effectiveness of educational programs to enhance executive functions, and social-emotionalskills in preschool children indexed in the Google Scholar, Springer, and ScienceDirect databases from 1990 to 2019, have been searched using the following keywords: "Executive functions in preschoolers", "Executive functions training programs in preschoolers", "Social-emotional competence in preschoolers", "Social-emotional skills in preschoolers", "Executive functions and academic achievement or performance in preschoolers", "The effectiveness of Social-emotional training programs on preschoolers", and "The effectiveness of cognitive training programs on preschoolers". In addition, Persian-language studies that have been uploaded in Magiran, Noormags, and Scientific Information Database (SID) from 2001 to 2019 have been searched using the following keywords: "Social-emotionalSkills", "Functions" "Executive", "Academic Achievement", "Academic Performance", "Academic Success", "Preschool Children" and "Children 4 to 6 years old".
In total, more than 200 studies in this field were reviewed and evaluated, and 66 articles were selected. After the initial selection, credible studies in which educational interventions were conducted only to improve executive functions and social-emotionalskills in preschool children and solve their behavioral problems were selected. Among these, studies in which the educational program’s purpose was to improve the level of childrenchr('39')s academic performance were excluded from the study. Then, from the selected articles, information was collected, classified, and summarized in three areas of executive function training, social-emotionalskills training, and simultaneous training of these two to preschool children. Due to systematic review method, no ethical issues were faced during this study’s conduction.
Results: The results of current research revealed that most of the studies were conducted to improve students’ executive functions and social-emotional skills. Moreover, despite the effectiveness of various curricula in improving preschoolers’ cognitive, social-emotional and academic skills, a comprehensive curriculum in which executive functions and social-emotional skills are being trained together does not exist.
Conclusion: It is suggested that developers of educational programs for preschool children pay attention to more areas of childrenchr('39')s development based on the present study’s findings. Namely, they should try to teach executive functions and social-emotionalskills to children in a combined way. Also, educational programs should include programs for training teachers and school staff to implement their school and classroom programs better. Moreover, classroom management techniques and improving the teacher-student relationship, as well as attracting parental involvement, and training parents to improve parent-child relationships are essential. To this end, it is suggested that programs for teaching executive functions and social-emotionalskills to preschool children should be developed and implemented at three levels of education for parents, teachers, and children. Future studies in this field and focusing on implementing the program on children with low cognitive, emotional, and behavioral skills, should also consider improving the level of these skills in normal children. In addition, educational programs can lead to better learning and the consolidation of skills in children if they are designed to be implemented for at least one academic year. Finally, it is suggested that domestic developers of programs and be more transparent in reporting on the implementation method and details of their programs so that these interventions can be more accurately evaluated and compared with foreign programs.
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Received: 2020/05/10 | Accepted: 2020/12/6 | Published: 2021/01/21

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