Building Executive Function in Imaginary Play

Project dates: 2016-06-30 00:00:00 - 2019-12-31 00:00:00

This project aims to develop a sustainable, play-based program to increase the executive functions of children in the year prior to school. Executive functions (EF) are cognitive processes that control an individual’s behaviour and cognition and include processes such as working memory, inhibitory control and attention. There is evidence that EF skills are critical to a successful transition to formal learning environments and future academic achievement, and that they are amenable to early intervention. Improving children’s EF skills in the year prior to school could produce lasting benefits across the school years, particularly for more vulnerable children. This project intends to inform professional development programs in early childhood education.

Funding / Grants

  • Australian Research Council


  • Adj Prof Susan Walker - QUT Principal Investigator
  • PROF Marilyn Fleer - Chief Investigator
  • A/Prof Nikolay (Nikolai) Veresov - Chief Investigator
  • Dr Iris Duhn - Chief Investigator


  • ARC Linkage Projects - VIC Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • ARC Linkage Projects - Monash University
  • ARC Linkage Projects - Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • ARC Linkage Projects - Lady Gowrie Child Centre