Grasping the theory of working memory to help boost kids’ memory.

Saturday, 04 September 2021
Working memory plays crucial role in kids' learning develoment. Working memory plays crucial role in kids' learning develoment.

Whether it is at home or at school, teachers and parents get frustrated about those kids who forget about things. Some statements and questions like “We barely studied that lesson and you have already forgotten it! How is it possible that you do not remember where you put your note? Or you are so forgetful, can you just please focus?” make parents wonder about the future of their kid’s studies and realize what they can do to help boost their child’s memory.

Working memory is a key part of learning. Having a good memory is a useful tool in a child's development and using working memory benefits well in their learning process. Whenever a child works on a new thing like a language or any subject area, they need their memory to be able to acquire and put it into practice. As part of the brain’s executive functions, working memory assists kids in their learning development, reasoning and works as the guidance of their decision-making and behavior.

Working memory often refers to short-time memory, also the capacity for holding, but not manipulating, a small amount of information in mind for a short period of time. Yet, theorists consider the two forms of memory distinct by assuming that working memory allows us to store and manipulate information as long as possible, whereas short-term memory only refers to the short-term storage of information. This way, when talking of working memory in kids, it is said that it helps them hold on to information long enough to use it. On the other hand, the use of the term working memory for human research started with Georg A. Miller, Eugene Galanter, and Karl H. Pribmar. In their book released in 1960, entitled “Plans and the structure of behavior”, they considered working memory as a part of the mind that allows us to operate successfully in life, completing our goals and subgoals by storing the useful information needed to execute these planned actions (Eryn J. Adams, et al., 2018).

When a kid learns something new, this one usually needs concentration, however, a good focus is mainly induced by working memory. So to help children improve their learning memory, these are a few working memory boosters for them:

Encourage kids to practice visualization and make connections. This consists in making a kid produce a picture in their mind of what they have just read or heard. As a parent, you are up to choose which learning tool you are going to use. An example includes the use of mind maps, when you make them create the connections between words, topics and things.

Have your kid teach you. This tip is about engaging the kid in the teaching experience that would facilitate their working memory. Allow your child to explain to you what they have learnt so far by making their own examples. Then ask them questions following the explanation.

Use visual aids to develop their visual memory. There are lots of memory aids that boost kids’ visual skills, and working memory. These may include matching games and exercises. Encourage your child to use visual tools to help them remember information that has been recently acquired. For this one, use flashcards with words and images.

Use multisensory strategies. With multisensory instruction, kids use more than one sense at a time which would allow any information to stick, hence, resulting in a better memory. Furthermore, using different senses gives all kids various ways to connect with what they have learnt. Instead of just reading and listening, stimulate their multisensory approach by making them, for example, visually explore, touch, smell, and taste things.

Sources: Understood / Oxford Learning/
“Theories of Working Memory: Differences in
Definition, Degree of Modularity, Role of
Attention, and Purpose”, Eryn J. Adams, Anh
T. Nguyen, and Nelson Cowan, 2018.

Read 130 times Last modified on Saturday, 04 September 2021 06:11
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This website was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.