“Executive function means taking things from one file…and combining it with another mental file and putting them together for new applications, solve new problems, for innovation.
With the 21st century coming on, the two biggest needs or issues will be the amount of data…and to analyze the validity and consider how to innovate with it, and how to apply what’s valuable. And so, the need to be able to use executive functions is critical…how do you know what’s valid, how do you judge whether it’s scientifically accurate, opinion versus fact, and those activities through middle school–through debates, through researching…building those skills while that part of the brain is developing is creating the brain for the 21st century.
The other part is innovation and creativity. We don’t know the problems we’ll have in the future. The jobs we have now, 30% of the jobs people are working in now didn’t exist five years ago….We can’t specifically prepare the students for the jobs or the problems they’ll have. We also can’t prepare them for the opportunities. As technology and globalization and communication increase, they’ll be incredible opportunity for creativity and innovation."