A Three Year Follow-up Study: Students´ Performances in Reading and Mathematics Three Years after Five-week Computerized Working Memory Training
2013 (English)In: European Journal of Special Needs Education, ISSN 0885-6257, E-ISSN 1469-591XArticle in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Working memory (WM) can be conceptualised as a system that stores and processes information continuously for a few seconds, is suggested to be malleable and to affect learning. To find out how WM training affects learning in a long-term perspective, twenty-seven children (mean age = 14.1) with attention deficits participated in this study. The treatment group (n = 18; 3 female) had trained earlier with an interactive computerised working-memory training programme at school for five weeks, while the control group (n = 9; 3 female) had not received any extra training. Three years after the training, the children completed further tests in reading and mathematics. The treatment group had enhanced their reading comprehension results more than the control group had, compared to baseline results. This study suggests that working memory training in children with attention deficits does not appear to be conducive to persistent improvement in all measures, but rather in one: reading comprehension. One limitation is the design of the study; the groups were not randomised and the control group was inactive. Further, many conditions could not be controlled for, such as the different teaching approaches over the time period, SES, as well as the school and home environments which include the efforts and knowledge of teachers and parents. The gains in reading comprehension after three years were observed for all the students in the treatment group. The previous advantage, that the students had gained after the five-weeks WM training, was thus maintained at the three-year follow-up. However, the results cannot be generalised due to the limitation in design and small sample size. It is hoped that future studies will target WM-training and basic skills.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
working memory training, reading comprehension, mathematics, longitudinal, attention deficits
Research subject Special Education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-87609OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-87609DiVA: diva2:605167
FunderSwedish Research Council, 10438