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The impact of teacher-student interactions on working memory performance in primary school children.

During middle childhood, an underestimated period in development, important changes still take place in the domain of executive functions (EFs). The focus of this project will be on one EF in particular, working memory, because of its prolonged developmental period, the cost-effectiveness of interventions aiming to improve working memory, and the existing of important inter-individual differences (e.g., SES, age) of working memory performance. EFs, working memory in particular, have an important transactional relationship with education. This relationship results in EF/working memory interventions creating an optimal learning environment in the classroom. In spite of promising results, important knowledge about active components in these interventions is still limited. One of these components is teacher-student interactions (TSI). The aim of this project is to determine efficacious TSI techniques to improve working memory and unravel combinations that are most effective. Differences in effectiveness will be considered between age groups, and guidance of teachers in implementing the TSI. To investigate this aim an alternative approach will be used. Microtrials give the opportunity to manipulate a teacher behavior and examine the immediate effect. single-case design is most helpful to investigate what the optimal combination of TSI techniques is to improve working memory performance of an individual child.

Date:1 Oct 2019 →  4 May 2021
Keywords:Teacher-student interaction, primary school, working memory
Disciplines:Teacher training, Microlevel instructional sciences
Project type:PhD project