Using complex instructions at the start of a task could be setting some students up to fail, finds Chris Parr. So, how can teachers identify and support children with working memory difficulties?
Ever pulled your car over to ask a passing pedestrian for directions? If so, you may have an idea of how unreliable working memory can be. “Continue down the road, take the second left, and then at the third set of lights turn right and then left.”
Some people are lucky. They will hold those instructions in their working memory, put the car in gear and arrive in plenty of time without getting lost.
Others are less fortunate. They will have forgotten at least half of the instructions by the time they drive off, and in the time it takes to decide to stop to ask for directions again, they will ...