Ep. 20: Fred Morrison, Ph.D. - Shoelaces to Self-Control

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Nov 01 2017 36 mins   1

The Google search for “how to teach a child to tie shoes” comes up with approximately 7.5 million hits. Obviously, parents and adults in general have recognized that folding over the shoelaces, crossing the bunny ears, and looping them to tie a knot needs to be taught with great care. However, you walk into any hallway in elementary, middle, or high school and two distinct trends appear. The shoes with laces are completely replaced with Velcro and many of those who ARE wearing shoes have their laces untied. Developing self-assessment to know when the shoelaces are untied and then engaging the impulse control to stop everything and tie the shoelaces to prevent a potential fall, is the hallmark of self-regulation. But a great deal of individual variability in learning self-control can pose a grave challenge to parents and teachers. My guest Fred Morrison, Ph.D., will discuss how to think about self-regulation and Executive Function as a volitional self-directed control across the lifespan.

About Fred Morrison, Ph.D.
Dr. Morrison is currently Professor of Psychology, Professor in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology and Research Professor in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. In recent years, his research has focused on understanding the nature and sources of children’s cognitive, literacy and social development over the school transition period. The work ranges from conducting basic research studies utilizing natural experiments and large-scale longitudinal descriptive studies of children’s developmental trajectories to developing, implementing and evaluating  two major school-based interventions aimed at improving children’s learning during the preschool and early school years. Recently, he has been exploring schooling effects on brain and behavioral measures of children’s self-regulation. He has been recognized for his contributions to development and education, being awarded the Dina Feitelson award for the second time, for the best research article published in 2005 and 2015. He has been continuously funded by federal grating agencies for 25 years. Over that period, he has served on national review panels at NICHD, NSF and IES.  He has mentored approximately 50 graduate student and 8 post-doctoral fellows.


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