Studies have shown that if you know a child’s working memory you will be able to predict grades years and years later . Think about that for a second once the die is cast as far as working memory is concerned we move lockstep with our peer group . It turns out working memory is far more important than IQ .
Working memory does the heavy lifting .Storing and tagging information . Allowing you manipulate and reformulate . Reflect , boil down and apply . Concentration , attention ,self regulation , speed of processing , analysis , synthesis , organisation . They all flow from a raw ability to encode [ hold onto] information .
Working memory’s complex task . To allow you to see the whole board . A chess term which means to take an overview .Working memory acts as a ceiling on potential . Working memory determines productivity . Working memory determines how you do in higher education and how you progress in your career . But do interventions work . Countless studies say they do .
Researchers at University of North Carolina found that those with a higher working memory were less likely than those with a lower working memory to let their thoughts wander from an appointed task . The better your working memory the better your focus .
A study by the Academy of Medical Sciences in the context of smart drugs concluded just a 10% improvement in memory will result in a big improvement in SAT , college admission and degree performance . In fact as long as your career requires you to keep learning new skills then working memory will continue to be of critical importance to you .
In a recent university study into prescription ADHD drug users. Just under 40% are cross diagnosed with dyslexia .Not surprising when you consider the overlapping issues with focus, attention, short term memory and sequencing common to both conditions , which account for around 15% of the population .
As Carl Wieman, a Nobel laureate observed
How can we continue to justify the use of traditional lectures in the light of solid research showing that the way we do things isn’t even effective in getting students to retain information, much less to understand concepts?