Working Memory Training and the Effect on Mathematical Achievement in Children with Attention Deficits and Special Needs
2013 (English)In: Journal of Education and Learning, ISSN 1927-5250, Vol. 2, no 1, 118-133 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Working Memory (WM) has a central role in learning. It is suggested to be malleable and is considerednecessary for several aspects of mathematical functioning. This study investigated whether work with aninteractive computerised working memory training programme at school could affect the mathematicalperformance of young children. Fifty-seven children with attention deficits participated in an interventionprogramme. The treatment group trained daily, for 30-40 min. at school for five weeks, while the control groupdid not get any extra training. Looking at the group as a whole, mathematical performance improved in thetreatment group compared with the control group directly following the five weeks of training (Time 2), but theresults of the second post-test (Time 3, approximately seven months later) were no longer significant. Since therewas only a small number of girls, the results were analysed for boys only. The boys had improved theirmathematical results in both post-tests. WM-measures improved at Time 2 and 3 relative to Time 1 (pre-test) forthe whole group, and for boys. Differences in training scores were related to differences in the non-verbalWM-measure Span board back.
The results indicate that boys aged 9 to 12 with special needs may benefit, over time, from WM training, asshown in the enhanced results in mathematics following WM training. However, as the intervention and controlgroups were not randomised, the results cannot be generalised; the results must be considered with caution.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 2, no 1, 118-133 p.
working memory training (WM training), attention, mathematics, special needs
Research subject Special Education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-87599DOI: 10.5539/jel.v2n1p118OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-87599DiVA: diva2:604971
FunderSwedish Research Council, 10061