What we know about memory and how we can use that knowledge effectively in education

11th December 2019 : 16:30 - 18:00

Category: Seminar

Speaker: Ann Dowker, University of Oxford

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room H

Convener: Katharine Burn

This seminar – intended for teachers as well as university colleagues – will examine the research claims that demonstrate the importance of working memory to the development of reading and mathematics.

There have been strong claims about the possibility of training children in working memory to improve their school performance. Ann will talk about the need for caution about whether we can train children in working memory in ways that will really help their progress in school. There is much stronger evidence that we can use what is known about memory to improve children’s performance by shaping instruction to avoid over-loading children’s working memory. There is also evidence that regular retrieval practice can be used to strengthen retention and recall. Ann’s presentation will review the relevant research and critically examine suggestions for teaching based on these ideas.

About the speaker

Dr Ann Dowker is a University Research Lecturer at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. Her interests include many aspects of developmental psychology and the psychology of individual differences. She is particularly interested in language development; the development of ‘theory of mind’ and its relationship to other cognitive abilities; cultural and linguistic influences on cognition; and mathematical development and cognition. She has carried out extensive research on individual differences in arithmetic in both children and adults, and on the phenomenon of ‘mathematics anxiety’.

About the department of education

In 2019, the University of Oxford’s Department of Education celebrates the 100th year since the passing of a statute creating what was known in 1919 as the University Department for the Training of Teachers. To celebrate our centenary a year-long series of activities will be delivered to address some of the department’s top initiatives for 2019, answer some of the big questions facing education today and to reveal the advancements the department has made to the study of and research in the field of education. Join us as we mark our 100th year and discover more about our anniversary here.

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