A Question of Memory; Poor Recall 'Affects Learning Ability'

Article excerpt

Byline: By Neil McKay

CHILDREN who under-achieve at school may just have poor working memory rather than low intelligence, according to a new report by North East acad emics.

The researchers from Durham University, who surveyed over 3,000 children, found that 10% of school children across all age ranges suffer from poor working memory which seriously affects their ability to learn.

But poor working memory is rarely identified by teachers, who often describe children with this problem as inattentive or as having lower levels of intelligence.

Now a new tool, a combination of a checklist and computer programme informed by several years of concentrated research into poor working memory in children, will for the first time enable teachers to identify and assess children's memory capacity in the classroom from as early as four years old.

The Durham researchers believe this early assessment of children will enable teachers to adopt new approaches to teaching, thus helping to address the problem of under-achievement in schools.

Without appropriate intervention, poor working memory in children, which is thought to be genetic, can affect long-term academic success into adulthood and prevent children from achieving their potential, say the academics. …