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South African Journal of Childhood Education

On-line version ISSN 2223-7682
Print version ISSN 2223-7674


COCKCROFT, Kate. The role of working memory in childhood education: Five questions and answers. SAJCE [online]. 2015, vol.5, n.1, pp.01-20. ISSN 2223-7682.

Working memory is the mental ability to temporarily store and manipulate Information. Its functioning is distinct from the vast storage capacity of long-term memory and is crucial for optimal learning and development. There is considerable research on several theoretical aspects of working memory. Far less research has explored the application of such theory in order to understand how children perform in educational settings and to support and improve their academic performance. In this paper, five key aspects regarding working memory are considered and their implications for early childhood development, learning and education are discussed. These aspects include the role of the different components of working memory in early childhood learning, ways in which working memory is assessed in children, how verbal and visual working memory develop, how working memory difficulties manifest in children, and ways in which working memory can be improved.

Keywords : academic success; cognition; development; learning; working memory.

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