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Working Memory Interventions With Children: Classrooms or Computers?

  • Susan Colmar (a1) and Kit Double (a2)

Abstract

The importance of working memory to classroom functioning and academic outcomes has led to the development of many interventions designed to enhance students’ working memory. In this article we briefly review the evidence for the relative effectiveness of classroom and computerised working memory interventions in bringing about measurable and sustainable benefits to students’ working memory, classroom engagement, and academic performance. Although there is considerable evidence that working memory is significantly linked to academic achievement, virtually no research has been undertaken within the classroom context, nor has the research had an intervention focus, nor has any research involved students themselves. Although there is a large amount of research on computerised working memory training programs, the evidence confirms that such programs rarely provide transferable or sustainable benefits to students’ working memory, classroom functioning, or academic performance. Positive evidence is provided for one classroom intervention specifically designed for personal and independent use by students, with their teachers’ support. Recommendations for classroom practice and directions for further research combining classrooms and computer interventions are discussed.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

address for correspondence: Associate Professor Susan Colmar, Program Director for School Counselling and School Psychology, Sydney School of Education and Social Work, Room 805, Education Building A35, The University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia. Email: susan.colmar@sydney.edu.au

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Working Memory Interventions With Children: Classrooms or Computers?

  • Susan Colmar (a1) and Kit Double (a2)

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