Working memory and differentiation

‘Differentiation’ is one of those ‘slippery’ terms that can mean different things to different people. I often find some of the strategies offered to be a bit incoherent and often question how evidence-based they really are. Here’s a possible alternative way of thinking about differentiation – rooting it to some of the psychology behind individual differences in children’s capacity to process information.

Here’s a fairly straightforward explanation of ‘working memory’ – the ability to hold and manipulate information in mind – and some strategies that might be worth evaluating.

Understanding working memory: A classroom guide

Unfortunately, the evidence appears to suggest that efforts to increase working memory through training are ineffective (e.g. Is Working Memory Training Effective? A Meta-Analytic Review

Indeed, probably the best way to help children is to focus on improving their subject knowledge

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2 Responses to Working memory and differentiation

  1. jogant2030 says:

    Sorry I will try that again. Differentiation for me, is an acknowledgement that all children learn differently. The more I can tap into how they learn and what are their differences, the more this can inform my planning and their outcomes.

    I really enjoyed the memory article and will now reflect on how I can use this theory with my Year 11’s. Spaced learning is something I am exploring at the moment. Thanks Nick for keeping my mind whirring!


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