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Trends in applied cognitive development
Issue Date: 
National Institute of Education (Singapore)
Series/Report no.: 
NIE Working Paper Series;5
This paper provides an overview of key research conducted locally and internationally in the field of applied cognitive development, particularly working memory and executive functioning from early childhood to mid-adolescence. The focus is on understanding the reasons for low achievement in children, with a particular emphasis on the interaction of domain-specific knowledge, attentional, social-emotional, and motivational predictors of academic achievement. We also focus on research examining the efficacy of interventions to enhance cognitive, social-emotional, and academic skills. We highlight the directions in which we believe future work should proceed given current developments in the field, our own interests and core capacity, and the need to address important educational questions in Singapore. These include the need to develop more sensitive tests of specific cognitive abilities, continued efforts to develop interventions to support the development of both domain-general skills and domain-specific numeracy and mathematics skills, an understanding of individual differences in response to pedagogy and training, and the examination of social-emotional factors (e.g., anxiety) on cognition and learning. Continued collaborative efforts will allow us to address these questions with behavioural, physiological, and neurological data and will provide a deeper understanding of the child’s outcomes in response to the pedagogical environment.
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