Working memory and numeracy training for children with math learning difficulties: Evidence from a large-scale implementation in the classroom

David MUÑEZ, Kerry LEE, Rebecca BULL, Kiat Hui KHNG, Fiona CHEAM, Ridzuam Abd RAHIM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We explored the challenges, limitations, and potential effectiveness of a large-scale computerized working memory and numeracy intervention in the classroom with children at risk of mathematical learning disabilities (n = 428, Mage = 83.85 months, 41% female). Children were assigned to four different treatment protocols (working memory [WM], working memory plus numeracy [NWM], numeracy [NUM], and active control [AC]) that were implemented as part of normally scheduled class activities for 1 year. Wide variability in training exposure highlighted the challenges of implementing an ecologically valid large-scale classroom intervention. The NUM and NWM intervention contributed to improvements in various early numeracy skills as well as math achievement after accounting for training exposure. Some of these effects emerged once the intervention concluded. However, the intervention failed to improve WM, which was likely due to insufficient training dosage in the practical setting. Findings suggest that combining both working memory and numerical skills training is worth further investigation. The study also provides evidence of challenges related to the implementation of training programs in real-life learning environments. Copyright © 2022 American Psychological Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1866-1880
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume114
Issue number8
Early online dateFeb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Citation

Muñez, D., Lee, K., Bull, R., Khng, K. H., Cheam, F., & Rahim, R. A. (2022). Working memory and numeracy training for children with math learning difficulties: Evidence from a large-scale implementation in the classroom. Journal of Educational Psychology, 114(8), 1866-1880. doi: 10.1037/edu0000732

Keywords

  • Mathematical disabilities
  • Working memory training
  • Numeracy training
  • Intervention

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