The Director of Educational Programmes at Edublox, Susan du Plessis, and research psychologist and Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pretoria, David Maree, recently collaborated for a virtual presentation at the prestigious EDULEARN19 Conference in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
EDULEARN19, which is arranged by the International Academy of Technology Education and Development (IATED), sought to bring together institutions, bodies and organisations from different countries of the world for discussion and cooperation. In 2019, for its 11th year, the conference welcomed 800 participants from more than 75 countries.
The duo’s virtual presentation, titled Auditory short-term memory, visual sequential memory and inductive reasoning matter for academic achievement, explored findings from a study conducted in 2017. In this study, 64 Grade 2 students of an inner-city school took an online test designed to assess auditory short-term memory, visual sequential memory, iconic memory and inductive reasoning, after which their test scores were correlated with their academic grades using the Pearson Correlation.
The study confirmed the importance of strong cognitive abilities for academic achievement and that the cognitive skill with the strongest correlation was auditory memory, which correlated significantly with the students’ total academic grades, English language grades, and maths grades.
“We are delighted that our presentation and findings were shared at the EDULEARN19 Conference,” says du Plessis, who is an educational specialist, published author and expert commentator in the field of learning problems and dyslexia. “Education authorities globally should take note and take heart, as improving auditory memory on a wide scale will, most likely, hugely impact overall academic outcomes.”
IATED is dedicated to the promotion of international education and university cooperation in the field of Technology and Science. Besides promoting the dissemination of knowledge in the field of education, IATED also cooperates with organisations that work for the improvement of quality of life for people affected by poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy (such as Doctors Without Borders). “It’s significant that local research is featured on the world stage,” adds Professor Maree. “We, as South Africans, can contribute substantially to educational research and development because of our unique context.”