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Memory Mates: An Evaluation of a Classroom-Based, Student-Focused Working Memory Intervention

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 June 2020

Susan Colmar*
Affiliation:
Sydney School of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Kit Double
Affiliation:
Department of Education, University of Oxford, UK
Nash Davis
Affiliation:
Department of Education NSW, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Linda Sheldon
Affiliation:
Department of Education NSW, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Natalie Phillips
Affiliation:
School of Psychology, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Matthew Cheng
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Bath, UK
Sophie Briddon
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Bath, UK
*
Address for correspondence: Susan Colmar, Program Director for School Counselling and School Psychology, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Room 805, Education Building A35, The University of Sydney NSW2006. Telephone: +61 2 9351 6265, Fax: +61 2 9351 2606, Email: susan.colmar@sydney.edu.au

Abstract

This applied experimental research tested the effectiveness of a universal, student-focused intervention (‘Memory Mates’), specifically focused on supporting students to use attention and working memory strategies within academic contexts, unlike computer-based programs. Memory Mates is presented in the form of icons and explanations, with the strategies embedded within the classroom. Analyses compared the impact of the intervention over 8 months in three schools with three control schools, comprising 13 Year 4 primary school classes. The intervention group students showed a significant improvement in mathematics and spelling; however, there was no differential effect on reading comprehension or academic engagement. Based on the present results, it is contended that implementing Memory Mates within classroom contexts demonstrated promising potential as a new approach to supporting academic progress.

Type
Articles
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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