Working Memory

What is Working Memory?

Working memory is defined as a cognitive system that holds information temporarily and has a limited capacity. Working memory is considered to be important for reasoning and decision making and also controlling behaviour. In education, working memory is something often talked about by teachers when they notice students struggling with processing or retaining information in the classroom.

Baddeley (1974) developed a working model that established that working memory is distinct from long term memory and not only does it deal with retaining information but also processes the information to develop cognition.

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Cognitive Load Theory

What You Need to Know About Cognitive Load Theory

In 1988, Australian educational psychologist and academic John Sweller, published the piece Cognitive Load During Problem Solving: Effects on Learning. Thirty years later and it’s the go-to resource for teachers wanting to know more about retrieval practice, how memory is shaped and of course, cognitive load theory.

In the opening page of his paper, Sweller writes, “that contrary to current practice and many cognitive theories, some forms of problem-solving interfere with learning.”

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