July 2021

EDGE Teaches Executive Functioning Skills Through Project-based Learning

Jacob Brown, Marketing, EDGE Learning & Wellness

As a wellness community in Chicago committed to supporting college students striving for academic and social success, EDGE Learning & Wellness believes that the best way to set their students up for success is to develop their executive functioning skills through project-based learning. EDGE Learning Coordinator, Claudia Gates, Ed.D. helps instill these skills in EDGE students daily.

Dr. Claudia Gates specializes in facilitating student mastery of executive functions such as time management, self-monitoring, and study skills.  She has experience teaching literacy skills to elementary, middle school, high school, and collegiate students. Dr. Gates became inspired to teach after volunteering to help struggling readers comprehend written texts. This process helped her understand and master the ability to help students engage successfully in literacy & executive functioning skills, use effective methods to establish academic goals, and maintain personal/professional motivation. With Dr. Gates' background and EDGE's foundation of project-based learning, students develop deeper understandings of the skills they are learning.

"In the workshops that I run, I begin with a lecture-based workshop where I introduce the particular skill such as time management or critical thinking. From there I provide the students opportunities to discuss these skills, define them, have them practice the skill, and then do some type of independent practice to further instill said skill in their daily lives," Gates explains. "The whole point of our program is to be support for our students and allow our students to begin executing these skills independently. From there we will watch them first-hand create their schedules, manage their time and plan things and then we provide support when needed."

Dr. Gates continues to research the latest trends on teaching executive functioning through project-based learning. Gates is currently taking the online course Seeing My Time developed by Marydee Sklar. The Seeing My Time program helps teach the executive function skills of time management, planning and organization through an innovative, brain-based approach. Gates states, "I am really enjoying these courses, because it is an opportunity to learn more about an area that should really be the focus of most classrooms." EDGE believes in staying up to date in the latest expertise in teaching executive functioning skills in order to provide the brightest future for our students.