Studying The Effectiveness of Integrative Instruction in the Executive Function, and the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional learning on the General Mathematical performance: A Case Study of Female Students with Mathematical Learning Disability

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Psychology and Socoal Science, Roudehen Branch, Islamic Azad University, Roudehen, Iran

2 Department of Psychology and social science, Roudehen Branch, Islamic Azad University, Roudehen, Iran


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of integrative instruction in the executive function and the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) on improving the mathematical performance of students with Mathematical Learning Disability (MLD). The semi-experimental method with pre-test and post-test control group design was applied in the current research. After screening (according to the checklist of DSMV-V, Raven test, and Key-Mat test), fourteen students were identified and randomly assigned to the experimental and control group. The experimental group was given integrative instruction in 11 sessions while the control group did not receive any treatment. The data were analyzed with MANCOVA. The results showed that the integration of the two methods (executive function and CASEL) significantly increased the concepts and the applying dimensions of mathematical performance. Based on the findings of this study, it was suggested that educational psychologists apply the integration of two methods of executive functions and CASEL teaching, to improve the performance of students with mathematical disabilities.


Main Subjects

American Psychiatric Association, publisher; American Psychiatric Association. (2013). DSM-5 Task Force. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5 (Fifth edition).
Armenta, C. N., Fritz, M. M., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2017). Functions of Positive Emotions. Gratitude as a Motivator of Self-Improvement and Positive Change. In Emotion Review 9(3), 183–190. Doi: 10.1177/ 1754073916669596.
Bandura, A. (1986). A social foundation of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliff, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN: 978-0-13-8156 14-5.
Bandura, A. (2018). Toward a Psychology of Human Agency. Pathways and Reflections. In Perspectives on psychological science: a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 13(2), 130–136. Doi: 10.1177/1745691617699280.
Best, J. R., Miller, P. H., & Naglieri, J. A. (2011). Relations between executive function and academic achievement from ages 5 to 17 in a large, representation national sample. Learning and Individual Differences, 21(4), 327-336.
Bildiren, A. (2017). Reliability and Validity Study for the Coloured Progressive Matrices Test between the Ages of 3-9 for Determining Gifted Children in the Pre-School Period. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 5(11), 13–20. URL:
Bryant, B. R., & Bryant, D. P. (2008). Introduction to the special series: Mathematics and learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 31, 3-8.
Buelow, M. T., Okdie, B. M., & Cooper, A. B. (2015). The influence of video games on executive functions in college students. Computers in Human Behavior, 45, 228–234.
Bull, R., & Scerif, G. (2001). Executive functioning as a predictor of children's mathematics ability: inhibition, switching, and working memory. Developmental Neuropsychology, 19(3), 273–293.
Bull, R., Espy, K. A., & Wiebe, S. A. (2008). Short-term memory, working memory, and executive functioning in preschoolers: longitudinal predictors of mathematical achievement at age 7 years. Developmental Neuropsychology, 33(3), 205–228.
CASEL Guide. (2013). Effective Social and Emotional Learning Program-Preschool and Elementary School Edition.
Carillo, K. D. (2010). Social Cognitive Theory in IS Research–Literature Review, Criticism, and Research Agenda. In Sushil K. Prasad, Harrick M. Vin, Sartaj Sahni, Mahadeo P. Jaiswal, Bundit Thipakorn (Eds.): Information Systems, Technology and Management, vol. 54. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Communications in Computer and Information Science), pp. 20–31.
Chan, R. C. K., Shum, D., Toulopoulou, T., & Chen, E. Y. H. (2008). Assessment of executive functions: review of instruments and identification of critical issues. Archives of clinical neuropsychology: the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists, 23(2), 201–216. https://
Clark, C. A. C., Pritchard, V. E., & Woodward, L. J. (2010). Preschool executive functioning abilities predict early mathematics achievement. Developmental Psychology, 46(5), 1176–1191.
Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students' social and emotional learning: a meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child development, 82(1), 405–432. 2010. 01564.x
Eisenberg, N., Valiente, C., & Eggum, N. D. (2010). Self-Regulation and School Readiness. Early education and development, 21(5), 681–698. 10409289.2010.497451
Elias, M. J. (2003). Academic and social emotional learning.
Elias, M. J., Zins, J. E., Weissberg, R. P., Frey, K. S., Greenberg, M. T., Haynes, N. M., & et al. (1997). Promot-ing social and emotional learning: Guidelines for educators. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Espy, K. A., McDiarmid, M. M., Cwik, M. F., Stalets, M. M., Hamby, A., & Senn, T. E. (2004). The contribution of executive functions to emergent mathematic skills in preschool children. Developmental neuropsychology, 26(1), 465–486.
Fiske, S. T., & Taylor, S. E. (2008). Social cognition: From brains to culture / Susan T. Fiske and Shelley E. Taylor (1st ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education; London:  McGraw-Hill [distributor]. Retrieved from
Freilich, R., & Shechtman, Z. (2010). The contribution of art therapy to the social, emotional, and academic adjustment of children with learning disabilities. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 37(2), 97–105. j.aip.2010.02.003
Friedman, N. P., Miyake, A., Corley, R. P., Young, S. E., Defries, J. C., & Hewitt, J. K. (2006). Not all executive functions are related to intelligence. Psychological science, 17(2), 172–179.
Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2012). Learning, attentional control, and action video games. Current biology: CB, 22(6), R197-206.
Greenberg, M. T., Weissberg, R. P., O'Brien, M. U., Zins, J. E., Fredericks, L., Resnik, H., & Elias, M. J. (2003). Enhancing school-based prevention and youth development through coordinated social, emotional, and academic learning. The American psychologist, 58(6-7), 466–474.
Holmes, J., Gathercole, S. E., & Dunning, D. L. (2009). Adaptive training leads to sustained enhancement of poor working memory in children. Developmental science, 12(4), 9-15.
Jacobson, L. A., Williford, A. P., & Pianta, R. C. (2011). The role of executive function in children's competent adjustment to middle school. Child neuropsychology: a journal on normal and abnormal development in childhood and adolescence, 17(3), 255–280. 535654
Ke, F., & Grabowski, B. (2007). Gameplaying for maths learning: Cooperative or not? British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(2), 249–259.
Langberg, J. M., Dvorsky, M. R., & Evans, S. W. (2013). What specific facets of executive function are associated with academic functioning in youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? Journal of abnormal child psychology, 41(7), 1145–1159. s10802-013-9750-z
Latifi, Z., Amiri, Sh., Malakpour, M., & Moulvi, H. (2009). The effectiveness of  teaching cognitive- social problem-solving training on improving interpersonal relationships, change in social attitudes and self-efficacy perception in students with learning disabilities. Tazehaye Olum-e Shenakhti, 11(3), 70-84 (In Persian).
Lezak, M. D., Howieson, D. B., Bigler, E. D., & Tranel, D. (2012). Neuropsychological assessment (5th ed.). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.
McCormick, M. P., Cappella, E., O’Connor, E. E., & McClowry, S. G. (2015). Social-Emotional Learning and Academic Achievement. AERA Open, 1(3), 233285841560395.
MirMahdi, S. R., Alizadeh, H., & Saif Naraqi, M. (2009) the impact of executive functions training on math and reading performance of primary school students with special learning disabilities. Journal of Exceptional Children Studies, 9(1), 1-12. (In Persian).
Miyake, A., Friedman, N. P., Emerson, M. J., Witzki, A. H., Howerter, A., & Wager, T. D. (2000). The unity and diversity of executive functions and their contributions to complex "Frontal Lobe" tasks: a latent variable analysis. Cognitive Psychology, 41(1), 49–100. 1999.0734
Mohammad-Ismail, E., & Hooman, H. (2003). Adaptation and standardization of Iran key math test. Exceptional Children, 6, 323-332. (In Persian).
Najarzadegan, M., Nejati, V., Amiri, N., & Sharifian, M. (2015). Effect of cognitive rehabilitation on executive function (working memory and attention) in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Medical Rehabilitation, 4(2), 97-108.
Narimani, M., Abbasi, M., Abolqasemi, A., & Ahadi, B. (2012). Comparison of the effectiveness of ACT training and emotion regulation training on compliance of students with mathematical disability. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 2 (4), 154.-176- (In Persian).
Nigg, J. T. (2006). What causes ADHD? : Undrestanding what Goes wrong and why. New York: Guilford press.
Okolo, C. M. (1992). The effect of computer‐assisted instruction format and initial attitude on the arithmetic facts proficiency and continuing motivation of students with learning disabilities. Exceptionality, 3(4), 195–211. 10.1080 /09362839209524815
Rourke, B. P. (1995). Syndrome of Nonverbal Learning Disabilities: Neurodevelopmental Manifestations / edited by Byron P. Rourke. New York, London: Guilford Press.
Rourke, B. P. (2005). Neuropsychology of Learning Disabilities: Past and Future. Learning Disability Quarterly, 28(2), 111.
Schulte-Korne, G. (2014). Spezifische lernstorungen [Specific learning disabilities - from DSM-IV to DSM-5]. Zeitschrift fur Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie, 42(5), 369-72; quiz 373-4.
Sharfi, K., & Rosenblum, S. (2016). Executive Functions, Time Organization and Quality of Life among Adults with Learning Disabilities. PloS One, 11(12), e0166939.
St Clair-Thompson, H. L., & Gathercole, S. E. (2006). Executive functions and achievements in school: Shifting, updating, inhibition, and working memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(4), 745–759. 10.1080/17470210500162854
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2013). Using Multivariate Statistics (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.
Toll, S. W. M., Van Der, V. S. H. G., Kroesbergen, E. H., & Van Luit, J. E. H. (2011). Executive Functions as Predictors of Math Learning Disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44(6), 521–532.
Yavari, M., Yaryary, F., & Rastegaripour, H. (2007). Investigation of the effectiveness of Hessabyar training software on math learning of Dyscalculic students. Journal of Exceptional Children Studies, 6(3), 713- 734. (In Persian).
Zelazo, P. D., Muller, U., Frye, D., Marcovitch, S., Argitis, G., Boseovski, J., & Sutherland, A. (2003). The development of executive function in early childhood. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 68(3), vii-137.
Zelazo, P. D., & Müller, U. (2002). Executive function in typical and atypical development. In U. Goswami (Ed.), Handbook of childhood cognitive development (pp. 445-469). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Zins, J. E., Elias, M. J., & Greenberg, M. (2007). School practices to build social-emotional competence as the foundation of academic and life success. In R. Bar-On, J. G. Maree, & M. J. Elias (Eds.), Educating people to be emotionally intelligent (pp. 79–94). Westport, CT: Praeger.
Zins, J. E., Weissberg, R. P., Wang, M. L., & Walberg, H. J. (Eds.). (2004). Building school success throughsocial and emotional learning: Implications for practice and research. New York: Teachers CollegePress.
Zins, J. E., Payton, J. W., Weisbereg, R. P., & O'Brien, M. U. (2007). Social and emotional learning and successful school pe.rformance.In G. Matthews, M.
Zeidner, M., & Roberts, R. D.  (2010). The Science of emotional intelligence: Known and in Known. (pp.376-395). New York: Ox-ford University Press.