The Science of Learning: Understanding Working Memory
How can psychology and neuroscience research about MEMORY offer classroom teachers practical guidance?
When students learn, they form new long-term memories — obviously! However, psychology and neuroscience research shows that memory formation requires complex interactions among distinct cognitive systems.
This workshop explores the vital role of working memory in our students’ learning.
We begin by defining “working memory": a short-term memory system that both facilitates and constrains long-term memory formation. When teachers understand its power, limitations, and variability, we immediately recognize the importance of working memory in the classroom.
With these concepts in mind, we next explore three core skills:
Anticipating working memory overload;
Identifying it when it happens;
Solving the working problems we anticipate and recognize.
By pinpointing and managing working memory demands in classwork, homework, and assessments, we reduce the clutter and muddle that hamper mental function.
In brief, we can help students think and learn more effectively. Thus, brain research offers practical guidance to support and inform teachers’ classroom practice.
Understand the essential role of working memory in learning;
Anticipate potential working memory overload;
Identify problems with working memory during class;
Develop strategies to solve working memory problems;
Recognize the benefits and limitations of brain research for pedagogical guidance.