Study finds working memory is more important than IQ for kids

Posted: September 15, 2009

If you want to know how smart your kid is, check her IQ. If you want to know how well she’ll do in school, check her working memory. This is the key takeaway from a recent, multi-year study of 3,000 grade school students, demonstrating that working memory is the best indicator of success in math, reading and spelling. The study also shows that poor working memory, which has a dramatic negative impact on academic performance, occurs in one out of 10 students. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Stirling.

In an academic environment that increasingly places importance on testing, this new research must not be ignored. Imagine the impact on overall test scores if teachers properly identified students with poor working memory and employed proven methods to help them address these issues and boost their performance in key academic areas. Then imagine the benefits beyond school as these students are able to be productive professionals. As more research points to working memory as the primary indicator of success, we’re going to see a greater efforts put forth to address the poor working memory and unlock the potential of students who are limited by it.

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