Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Education


Teacher Education

First Advisor

Kaye Pepper

Second Advisor

Jerilou Moore

Third Advisor

Ann Monroe

Relational Format



Executive function skills are vitally important to student success in school and later in life. Executive function skills can and are improved with specific skills instruction. The literature reveals a correlation between executive function and academic achievement. So, the theory proposed is that raising executive function levels will raise achievement levels. The role of executive function in student achievement in the ComCore State Standards was studied with a fourth grade class. It was conducted over a nine-week period, and used an experimental and control group. Both groups were given an executive function pretest and academic achievement (ComCore) pretest. During the treatment period, the experimental group was given explicit executive function skills instruction in the form of the Pomodoro Technique. This technique addressed the following executive functions: managing time, using visual organizers, planning transitions, creating to-do lists, recording and reflecting on data, self-regulation, and reducing working memory load. This technique was implemented daily. At the end of the nine week period, both groups were given executive function and achievement posttests. The statistical analysis revealed that the experimental group's executive function level improved significantly compared to the control group.

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