To learn, the child uses strategies. These strategies mobilize functions that are different but complementary to each other:
- cognitive strategies (attention, inhibition, planning, working memory, initiation, decision)
- affective strategies (emotions, motivation, self-confidence, impulsivity, anxiety)
- metacognitive strategies: metacognition is an expert system that manages executive functions; so it is very important. It brings knowledge about knowledge, that is to say it allows to have knowledge of its own knowledge: this is the case of a trainer who is able to understand all the knowledge that 'he must transmit in order to reorganize them and make them accessible to learners.
- social strategies
- resource strategies
We now know that affective strategies influence cognitive strategies: emotions and motivation are essential elements to promote learning. However, a child does not go to school to learn to develop his strategies but to acquire a mastery of French, mathematics, languages: the “fundamentals”. Learning is difficult because the cognitive bases are not developed: some children are in difficulty and sometimes diagnosed with dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dyslexia… or even ADHD.
Faced with this situation, education must be made more ergonomic by working these functions upstream from a preventive point of view to ensure the proper functioning and development of children. It is, therefore, good for parents who have more fulfilled children and teachers who have students who learn the basics more easily.
An educational structure that supports learning strategies in its educational system is a school that not only gives students the means to grow up but also parents and teachers the possibility of detecting possible dysfunctions as early as possible in order to take charge of them.
Several scientific studies, including that of Diamond & Ling in 2020, have identified the most effective methods for working executive functions.
We find in order:
The least effective: 60 % studies show significant effectiveness
- digital tools or training software such as RehaCom or Presco: they are focused on a single function and they have no impact in everyday life. They make it possible at least to improve the targeted process.
- Traditional pencil / paper exercises
- non-computerized and specific devices such as PIFAM or REFLECTO. They have a metacognitive remedial action and can have effects in everyday life because their implementation approaches everyday life (ecological device): they affect the person as a whole.
- Use of positive reinforcements: immediate and positive feedback is an important element.
Moderately effective: 75 % studies demonstrate significant effectiveness
- Training systems in schools based on the Montessori approach (Lillard & Else-Quest, 2006) or on socio-constructivism and the concept of proximal development zone based on the work of Vygotsky (Diamond et al., 2007).
- Programs like “Attentix” (Caron, 2001)
The most effective: 100 % studies show significant effectiveness!
- Mindfulness meditation with or without slow movements: mindfulness promotes attention, memory, stress / anxiety management and increases the amount of gray matter in the brain (fundamental for information processing). It is beneficial for all cognitive functions.
We understand that the more a method is global and close to the reality of life, the more it is likely to be effective, provided it is linked to mindfulness or similar practices.
The Feuerstein approach (which also draws on Vygostky's work), the Montessori and Freinet pedagogies are global and ecological approaches: taken together, they maximize the development of learning and problem-solving strategies.
Activities aimed at contributing to the development of human potential are also necessary. It should be noted that motor skills and rhythmic training alone influence the cognitive, perceptual and affective-emotional factors necessary for any learning (J.-M. Albaret, 2006). It is therefore imperative to work not only on motor control but also on self-awareness, organization exteriorception (sensations caused by external stimuli), emotional regulation, social skills and communication.
Finally, the role of parents is fundamental in regulating and harmonizing the behavior of the child so as to create coherence between school and home: a systemic vision.
The EFIM educational project is organized around the overall development of the child because all the studies now converge and demonstrate the need to contribute to the development of all the capacities of the pupil.
This is why we plan to: - hybridize educational approaches, - develop both the cognitive, the emotional-affective, the relational-social and the physical, - to offer a range of activities and tools intended to support all learning and problem-solving strategies, - to include parents in an educational community.