Ellen Galinsky on “the most important skills” to teach

Researcher and best-selling author of Mind in the Making, Ellen Galinsky describes why building executive functions through a curriculum like Tools is so powerful.

The challenge


What we heard from teachers and administration at after implementing Tools at

Ellen Galinsky on “the most important skills” to teach


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The process

Committee search to choose the right curriculum

Selection of Tools of the Mind curriculum & professional development

Tools training and implementation for all relevant staff

Teaching and learning review and outcomes

What does Ellen Galinsky, President of Families and Work Institute, think of Tools of the Mind? Well, the former teacher, prolific author, researcher and early childhood development expert is so committed to Tools and its power to build essential skills in young children that she has been on our Board of Directors since 2018. 

Last May, Galinsky delivered a keynote presentation at our first annual TEACH conference, where Tools educators from across the globe came together to deepen their understanding of the Tools approach. Listen in on Galinsky’s powerful keynote session as she identifies Tools as truly ahead of the curve in weaving sophisticated neuro-cognitive skills, what she calls “the most important skills we should be teaching,” into the very fiber of classroom practice. 

Research shows this approach is leading to Tools kids performing better academically and demonstrating better social skills and problem-solving capabilities. The best part? It comes from introducing children to Tools’ intentional play, which strengthens their self-regulation skills, making it easier for them to manage their emotions and behaviors and teaching them to learn how to learn, together and from each other.

“Executive function skills are measurable, malleable and they can be improved.”
- Ellen Galinsky

Tools Takeaways

  • Children learn to problem-solve by using a combination of cognitive and social-emotional skills
  • Strong self-regulation skills lead children to better academic and social outcomes
  • Tools of the Mind is unique in incorporating self-regulation into everything that happens in the classroom, building essential neuro-cognitive skills into our curriculum in a natural way and using play to help children learn from one another