International Journal of Education and Psychological Research

(Print and Online Peer Reviewed Journal)

Print - ISSN: 2349 - 0853
e - ISSN: 2279 - 0179


(June 2019)

Working Memory: Building Blocks of Intelligence or an Incomplete Model? Towards a Model of Enhanced Working Memory Informed by Multiple Intelligences Theory

Authors: C. Branton Shearer

Pages: 26-52


Working memory (WM) is associated with general intelligence as a measure of basic cognitive skills with consequences for academic achievement and life success. Cognitive training programs and educational treatment plans in schools to remediate WM deficits have had mixed results. Researchers question their efficacy at enhancing intelligence or promoting lasting cognitive ability. A major impediment to effectiveness is limited transferability of trained skills to everyday life. The basic model of WM and its relationship to human intelligence and as a basis for educational cognitive neuroscience is limited by a narrow description of essential cognitive abilities. This review of cognitive and neuroscience literatures reveals support for an enhanced model of WM aligned with multiple intelligences (MI: Frames of Mind, Gardner, 1983/1993, Basic Books). MI provides a broad description of intelligence that includes general intelligence as convergent aspects of logical-mathematical and linguistic intelligences. Neuroscience evidence indicates basic WM memory is aligned with visual-spatial, linguistic and intrapersonal intelligences. An enhanced model of WM includes the logical, musical and kinesthetic intelligences. Further research is required to determine the role of interpersonal and naturalist thinking for attention and mental processing. Implications for integrating MI-inspired cognitive training activities into personalized, strength-based educational programs are discussed.