I attended a conference recently here in Manila for Learning Support teachers in international schools in Asia.  One of the keynote speakers was Dr Tracy Alloway from the University of Stirling in Scotland.  Tracy is a world leader in the area of working memory and has conducted a range of government funded research which has aided our understanding of what working memory is and how it affects our ability to learn.

Tracy told us two main things that excited me.  Firstly, the tide is switching now in agreement that working memory score is a better indication of educational attainment than IQ.  This is potentially fantastic news as, unlike IQ, working memory is not affected by the mother’s educational level or socio-economic background.  It is also more ‘plastic’ and we can improve our working memory score.  This is the second thing that excited me.  A number of my students who recieve support for learnign here have been assessed to show a low or poor working memory score.

Dr Alloway discovered, through government funded research an online program which shows quite breath-taking results in improving working memory score.  This in an 8 week online program that costs $50 and the results are maintained – that is, the gains showed after 8 weeks seems to be sticking with the kids who finished the course without them having to repeat the course after any length of time.

The benefits of improved working memory are seen right across the board from math to literacy, from vocabulary to arithmatic.  Please contact me if you want to explore this further and I do urge you to visit both Tracy’s site and the site of the program she recommends, called Jungle Memory.