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Chapter image Chapter 10: Strategy 8: Memory strategies

Self Evaluation

Please rate yourself or a teacher you have closely observed.




8. Teaches memory strategies

You regularly give learners training in employing a range of memory strategies, including attending, mnemonics, chunking, rehearsal, and transforming material into mental representations (e.g., story boards, concept mapping, mind mapping, flow charts and vizualization).


Mitchell, 2014, pp115–125.

  1. All learners are taught a range of memory strategies, appropriate to their ages and stages of development.
  2. You have a clear understanding of the difference between short-term and long-term memory.
  1. Both indicators are regularly met.
  2. Indicator #1 is occasionally met.
  3. A limited range of memory strategies is taught.
  4. Rote learning is the dominant memory strategy relied on.

websitesWeb links


Mnemonics aim to translate information into a form that the human brain can retain better than its original form.


Learn NC: Using knowledge of student cognition to differentiate instruction.

A broad article, with a focus on working memory.


journalsJournal links

St Clair‐Thompson, H., Stevens, R. A. and Bolde, E. (2010). ‘Improving children’s working memory and classroom performance’. Educational Psychology, 30(2), 203–219.

The aim of this study was to explore a method of improving working memory, using memory strategy training. The results revealed that working memory strategy training resulted in significant improvements in tasks assessing the phonological loop and central executive components of working memory, and tasks assessing following instructions and mental arithmetic in the classroom. However, no improvements were observed on standardized tests of reading, arithmetic or mathematics, either immediately following training or five months later. The results are discussed in terms of implications for educational practice.

Lifshitz H.,  Shtein, S. I. and Svisrsky, N. (2011). Explicit memory among individuals with mild and moderate intellectual disability: Educational implications’. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 26(1), 113–124.

This study discusses the educational implications of a previous meta-analysis of explicit memory studies in populations with intellectual disability (ID). The main factors at the core of these implications can be divided into two categories: those related to task characteristics (e.g., depth of processing, task modality, test type), and those related to participant characteristics (e.g., chronological age, aetiology). Recommendations include: (1) exposing participants with ID to deep rather than shallow encoding and using visual scaffolding when teaching verbal material; (2) designing memory tests based on recognition more than free recall and using various types of questions; (3) teaching individuals with ID memory strategies even though they might only be used later, because memory could improve with age; and (4) designing instruction based mainly on linguistics skills for individuals with Williams syndrome and instruction based mainly on visuo‐spatial and gesture skills for individuals with Down syndrome.

Cockroft, K. and Dhana-Dullabh, H. (2013).‘Deaf children and children with ADHD in the inclusive classroom: Working memory matters.’ International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17(10), 1023–1039.

This study compared the working memory functioning of deaf children, children with ADHD and typically developing children. Working memory is involved in the storage and mental manipulation of information during classroom learning activities that are crucial for the acquisition of complex skills and knowledge. Thus, it is important to determine how these groups compare in this regard as this has implications for teaching them together in an inclusive classroom. Simple and complex visuo-spatial and verbal working memory were assessed in twenty-four children with ADHD and twenty control children with no diagnosed ADHD, to determine whether any differences existed between these groups. A second comparison occurred between the simple and complex visuo-spatial working memory of the latter two groups, as well as twenty-four deaf children, all matched on age, gender and home language. The control group scored significantly higher than the deaf children and the children with ADHD on all components of simple and complex working memory. The implications of this finding are that children with ADHD and deaf children may share similar working memory profiles, making it easier to accommodate both sets of children together in the inclusive classroom. Suggestions are given for how educators could assist these children by reducing the demands on working memory.