An evidence-based approach to working-memory based training in secondary education to improve reasoning test achievements

Roel J.F. Ariës

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Secondary school teachers regularly observe that adolescent students have insufficient reasoning skills to properly answer reasoning test questions. One potentially effective strategy is developing learning strategies based on working memory training. This thesis contributes to our knowledge and insight into effective working memory based strategies that improve reasoning skills in secondary education humanities curricula. It does so by evaluating the effectiveness of a combined WM-capacity and reasoning strategy training to acquire reasoning skills in order to improve academic achievement. This could provide the necessary tools for both teachers and students to improve school-test results in humanities courses. From this dissertation it can be concluded that a combined content-based working memory capacity and reasoning strategy training appears to be an effective instrument to enhance school-based reasoning achievement. Reasoning achievements in school-test results do not seem to be affected by motivation levels when students use the combined training method. Furthermore, the combined working memory capacity and reasoning strategy training does not appear to discriminate between low or high achieving students in terms of improvements on reasoning tests.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Groot, Wim, Supervisor
  • Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, Supervisor
  • Ghysels, Joris, Co-Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date17 May 2018
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Editionno. XII
Print ISBNs9789400301375
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • secondary school
  • teachers
  • adolescent students
  • reasoning skills
  • working memory training

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