The SOFIA project funded by the Erasmus+ Programme (Νο 2017-1-FR01-KA204-037216) focuses on enhancing EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS within adult population. The term of Executive Functions (EF) refers to the mental processes that control other brain processes and enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions and juggle with multiple tasks. EF have recently occupied a central position in studies related to the improvement of adult conditions, after the new acquisitions in neuroscience and neuropsychology.
The term of ‘executive functioning’ has become a common buzzword in psychology offices and this is more than just a passing fad. In fact, neuropsychologists have been studying these skills for many years and it is believed that the focus on executive functioning represents a
significant advancement in our understanding adults and their unique profile of strengths and weaknesses.
According to recent studies, it is clear that in order to help adult people to acquire new skills, trainers should develop custom-tailored courses and they should consider that adult learners often have to cope with specific issues and challenges. In fact, they often lack the ability to hold information in mind for the purpose of completing a task, to shift from one situation to another, to think in a flexible way. Planning and organizing one’s work and manage current and future-oriented tasks requires the ability to ensure emotional control.
The general objective of the project is to enhance, strengthen, develop executive functions in adults in order to be equipped with abilities that are necessary to acquire new skills that are needed to find better jobs and improve their life prospects, as help them to be more integrated in the labor market and in the society, by enhancing their personal and professional skills and competences.
The specific objective includes the development of innovative methods and tools that enable adults to be more effective and to improve their competences. The project will involve two main categories of target groups that include:
- adults: project partners will involve around 100 people with Executive Function Disorders (EFD) and adults with poor executive functions but without specific formal recognition and that represent the majority of the adults;
- educators/trainers/counsellors who work with adult with Executive Function Disorders (EFD) and adults with poor executive functions but without specific formal recognition.
The project will involve approximately 20 professionals.
The SOFIA project plans the development of 4 Intellectual Outputs. The first intellectual output consists of a handbook on the needs of adult population in relation to the executive function disorders. The second intellectual output is a Toolkit of Methods for developing/enhancing/improving executive functions in adult population, constructed by the partnership on one hand, according to a revision of the state of the art in International scientific literature and especially focusing in the research produced in partner countries, and on other hand, according to characteristics and needs of the adults with EFD identified in handbook.
Based on the findings and conclusions reached by the Intellectual Output 1 (Report on the needs of adult population in relation to the executive function disorders) and Intellectual Output 2 (Compendium of Methods for developing/enhancing/improving executive functions
in adult population), a program with specific techniques focusing mostly on self- monitor/control, working memory and task monitor will be developed and later tested within Adult Education Training Providers (Intellectual Output 3).
The Intellectual Output 4 will include a program based on several strategies, exercises for improving three of the basic Executive Functions: working memory, emotional management and planning/organisation. The SOFIA project results shall lead to improving and enhancing teachers’ and trainers’ tools in use to help adults improve attitudes and behaviors, increase their attention control abilities, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, social and life skills, enhance their motivation to learn, deepen their commitment to acquire new skills and increase their competences.