..Educational psychologists have made rather extensive investigations of semantic (declarative) and procedural memory with respect to studying and theorizing about classroom learning and teaching….very little theoretical or empirical work has been conducted in educational psychology that has examined the episodic (experiential and autobiographical) memories of teachers and learners in relation to instructional interventions and students’ learning from such interventions.
Martin 1993: 169-170)
Another memory theory that has become popular and may have significant educational distinction is the concept of working memory, or rapid access memory that is finite (such as the RAM of a computer and therefore cannot be stretched across to much stimulus or brain work to elicit memory of the core concepts.
Research on test anxiety and working memory suggests that performance deficits caused by test anxiety can be explained by the extent to which individuals are able to use their working memory capacity (Darke, 1988b; Eysenck, 1985). The working memory system has a finite capacity and deals with the transient processing and storage of information simultaneously at any point in time (Baddeley, 1986). In an evaluative situation, highly anxious people have less available working memory capacity for task solution than their low-anxious counterparts, because some portion of their processing capacity is taken up by the representation of test anxiety (e.g., worry), which leads to performance decrements
Test anxiety is not the only context in which the working memory theory can be validated. Reading comprehension is also an area where working memory theory assists the educator in a better understanding of working memory. Potentially thinking of over stimulation or under stimulation as factors effecting working memory would also be significant in exploration.
As conceptualized by Baddeley, specifically, the working memory has three major components, an executive and two storage systems, which are the articulatory loop and a visual-spatial scratch pad (Baddeley, 1981; Baddeley & Hitch, 1974).
Not least in the understanding of memory and learning is the concept that brain chemical functioning is essential. Feeding the brain the right kind of chemicals therefore becomes an important aspect of education.
Recent experimental studies on children demonstrate that breakfast consumption positively benefits undernourished children’s cognitive performance (Pollitt, 1995). Students seem to achieve higher levels of academic performance when they consistently eat breakfast….It also has been suggested that a child’s brain function and memory are sensitive to the effects of an overnight fast as well as to nutrient deficiencies (Pollitt, 1995). One study showed that in schools that serve breakfast, students’ academic scores increased and their discipline problems decreased (Matsumoto, 1998).
Antoine, Donald & Cox 2003: 230)
Other researchers also indicate that certain forms of nutrition are better than others for the formation of healthy memory skills, including the more specific association of protein and certain elemental nutrients, as apposed to high fat content diets was the best kind of food for the brain.
Last but certainly not least in a greater understanding of the way in which memory functions is a greater understanding of how imagery, effects memory. We have discussed the fact that memory is multifaceted, and that the context of the learning situation has a great deal to do with recall and long-term memory. Imagery, is also essential to memory, as is hinted at by the development of the idea of imagery guiding recall in adults who have either learned or failed to learn something through a kind of photographic distinction.
Bugelski (1970) suggests that the verbal material is converted to mental pictures that are stored in memory, and are revived and described in retention tests… Imagery helps retention because it contains a rich set of spatial determinants that can bind concepts together. Finally, Paivio (1969, 1971) advocated a “dualcoding” hypothesis. He suggested that there are two storage systems, the verbal and the imaginal; the verbal system processes information sequences while the imaginal system works on simulaneous arrays of information. Paivio assumed that in using images to memorize concrete words, a person establishes one memory trace in the verbal-associative store, another in the imagery store. Abstract words, encoded only in the verbal-associative store, are not remembered as easily because this is the only memory store available.
Memory is essential to learning and learning is the foundational goal of education. It is for this reason that a greater understanding of the many ways that individuals remember information is essential to the ability to educate. Continuing to guise material in the abstract, while failing to utilize the whole of the memory function, will likely continue to progress failure rather than achievement in the education system. Only a full scope of the understanding of implications of the personal, of imagery, of sound and movement into the repertoire of the memory will create a holistic learning process that fosters memory, even of the most arbitrary nature.
Antoine, Marie, Shannon Donald, and Carolyn C. Cox. 2003. “Are Students Throwing Away Nutrition?.” Journal of Research in Childhood Education 17:230.
Arnold, Magda B. 1984. Memory and the Brain. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Chance, P.A. 1999. Learning and Behavior. New York: AIPI.
Das, J.P. 1989. “Good and Poor Readers’ Word Naming Time, Memory Span, and Story Recall.” Journal of Experimental Education 57:101-114.
Fahey, John a., and Gilberto De Los Santos. 2002. “Memory Improvement and Research Related to the Science of Memory.” Education 123:380.
Greene, Robert L. 1992. Human Memory: Paradigms and Paradoxes. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Lee, Ju Hyun. 1999. “Test Anxiety and Working Memory.” Journal of Experimental Education 67:218-240.
Martin, Jack. 1993. “Episodic Memory: a Neglected…