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Carlson takes a walk down Sesame Street

Stephanie CarlsonStephanie Carlson, associate professor at the Institute of Child Development, met with the creative writers at Sesame Workshop in New York City on January 19 to inform them about executive function (EF), skills of self-control and focus, and to discuss ways to use the Sesame Street program and its interactive digital media to help promote EF in young children.

Carlson discussed, for example, that Grover might discover some ways to help build his working memory when he's sent to the store to buy a few things, but can't remember all of the items when he arrives—he just can't seem to keep more than a couple of things in his mind at once. Finally, after several unsuccessful trips, Big Bird might suggest that Grover write the items down on a piece of paper to help him remember.

"Sesame Street has always been a leader in designing media that are sensitive to developmental stages," Carlson said, "and it is wonderful to see they are now focusing on the EF skills needed for learning."

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