A Conversation with Education Expert Deborah Leong: "Executive Function" and Play in Young Children

Nov 25, 2014

On this edition of ST, we speak with Dr. Deborah Leong, professor emerita of psychology at Metropolitan State College of Denver, where she taught for more than three decades. Dr. Leong is also a research fellow at the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and she co-developed the innovative "Tools of the Mind" educational approach, which is, per its website, "a research-based early childhood program that builds strong foundations for school success by promoting intentional and self-regulated learning in preschool- and kindergarten-aged children." Earlier this month, Dr. Leong delivered a free-to-the-public Seed Sower Lecture at the OU-Tulsa Early Childhood Education Institute. She joins us to discuss the core concept of her recent address in Tulsa, which was "executive function" in young children. As Dr. Leong says on our program, when we're talking about very young kids and "executive" choices and decision-making, it basically all comes down to play.