Teachers' beliefs about memory: what are the implications for in-service teacher education?

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Memory plays a key role in learning, and it is therefore important that teachers understand its workings in order to make decisions that benefit learning. However, previous research has shown that memory is an area which is subject to misconceptions. This study used an online survey with a five-item Likert scale to determine teachers’ responses to statements about memory and forgetting, including counterintuitive phenomena such as the spacing effect. It was found that participants scored better on the items compared to studies of the general public, but there were notable misconceptions. Accuracy of memory beliefs didn’t increase in line with self-reported number of years of experience. Teachers of psychology scored higher, suggesting that an understanding of cognition can reduce misconceptions. Although small scale, this survey addressed an under-researched area, and future directions for research and implications for teacher CPD are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalThe Psychology of Education Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2018


  • professional knowledge
  • metacognition
  • spacing effect
  • retrieval practice


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