Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Does schooling have an impact on short-term memory?

Tymms, P.; Beckmann, N.; Beckmann, J.F.; Elliott, J.; Merell, C.


P. Tymms

J. Elliott

C. Merell


Short-term memory (STM) capacity in the context of academic attainment is of great importance and studied extensively although experimental interventions to increase STM or working memory have yet to produce long-term gains. But is it possible that schooling can have a positive effect on such processes? The analysis of a large longitudinal dataset indicated clear gains in STM capacity during the first year of schooling, which was predictive, at the pupil level, of attainment in national tests six years later. Schools varied somewhat in their apparent impact on STM capacity but this did not translate into differential gains in the national tests at the school level. Possible explanations for the findings are discussed and it is argued that a sufficiently strong prima facie case has been made for the impact of schooling on STM to warrant further investigation.


Tymms, P., Beckmann, N., Beckmann, J., Elliott, J., & Merell, C. (2013). Does schooling have an impact on short-term memory?.

Conference Name 15th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Learning and Instruction.
Conference Location Munich, Germany
Start Date Aug 27, 2013
End Date Aug 31, 2013
Publication Date Aug 30, 2013
Deposit Date Jun 12, 2014
Publisher URL