Australia’s national education evidence body

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This resource outlines some strategies to embed the development of executive function and self-regulation in your early childhood education and care setting.

Engage in sustained shared conversations with children

One way to develop executive function and self-regulation in children is to engage in ‘sustained shared conversations’. The Early Years Learning Framework states that sustained shared conversations are an important strategy for educators and teachers to employ. By asking children questions, educators can prompt children to explore their ideas in more depth. Educators can extend children’s thinking by working together to solve a problem, clarify an issue, evaluate learning experiences or extend a narrative. Opportunities for engaging in sustained shared conversations can occur throughout the day during routines, transitions, planned and spontaneous experiences.

Strategies for engaging in sustained shared conversations with children aged 3-5 years are outlined in the following table. For examples of sustained shared conversations that develop children’s literacy and executive function and self-regulation skills, see literacy and numeracy resources.

Strategies for sustained shared conversations

Developing executive function and self-regulation throughout the day

Here are some examples of when you might build opportunities to develop executive function and self-regulation into different learning experiences and interactions throughout the day for children aged 3-5. These examples show how you may start a conversation and illustrate a pause where the child can engage and steer the conversation 

Moments in the day

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