Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Working memory is key to early academic achievement

Date:
July 8, 2014
Source:
Université du Luxembourg
Summary:
Working memory in children is linked strongly to reading and academic achievement, a new study has shown. Moreover, this finding holds true regardless of socio-economic status. This suggests that children with learning difficulties might benefit from teaching methods that prevent working memory overload.

Working memory in children is linked strongly to reading and academic achievement, a new study from the University of Luxembourg and partner Universities from Brazil* has shown. Moreover, this finding holds true regardless of socio-economic status. This suggests that children with learning difficulties might benefit from teaching methods that prevent working memory overload.

Related Articles


The study was published recently in the scientific journal Frontiers in Psychology.

The study was conducted in Brazil on 106 children between 6 and 8 from a range of social backgrounds, with half living under the official poverty line. Similar studies have been conducted in the English-speaking world, so it was interesting to see that the results were similar in this highly-unequal, Portuguese-speaking society.

The study sought to identify the cognitive skills underpinning learning success. Children were tested for IQ and so-called "executive functions," a set of cognitive processes that we use to control our thoughts and actions, including how we remember information, control our emotions, pay attention and shift between thoughts. These results were compared to attainment in reading, spelling, mathematics, language and science. The results show that a child's working memory skills -- their ability to hold and work with information in mind -- predicted success in all aspects of learning, regardless of IQ. Moreover, most children identified by their teachers as "poor readers" struggle with their working memory.

"Our findings suggest the importance of early screening and intervention, especially in the context of poverty. At present, poor working memory is rarely identified by teachers," said project leader Dr. Pascale Engel de Abreu, Associate Professor at the University of Luxembourg "Poor literacy, low academic achievement and living in poverty create a mutually reinforcing cycle. There is a chance to break this by early identification of children with working memory problems and by helping them to acquire the mental tools which will enable them to learn," she added.

* Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), Universidade Federal de Săo Paulo (UNIFESP), Universidade de Săo Paulo (USP)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Université du Luxembourg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pascale M. J. Engel de Abreu, Neander Abreu, Carolina C. Nikaedo, Marina L. Puglisi, Carlos J. Tourinho, Mônica C. Miranda, Debora M. Befi-Lopes, Orlando F. A. Bueno, Romain Martin. Executive functioning and reading achievement in school: a study of Brazilian children assessed by their teachers as “poor readers”. Frontiers in Psychology, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00550

Cite This Page:

Université du Luxembourg. "Working memory is key to early academic achievement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708092142.htm>.
Université du Luxembourg. (2014, July 8). Working memory is key to early academic achievement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708092142.htm
Université du Luxembourg. "Working memory is key to early academic achievement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708092142.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) — We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins