Learning and Memory in Children and Young People
Learning at all age levels has become more important for the Swedish educational system. Research during recent years within the fields of psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience has provided us an understanding of children’s learning process; how they become motivated, how they form concepts and how they memorise. At the same time, learning has changed in time with information from the Internet and other interactive educational programmes.
Riksbanken Jubileumsfond (RJ), together with the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Swedish Research Council’s Committee for Educational Science and Research Infrastructures, has decided to finance four research programmes within this area. The initiative is called “Learning and Memory in Children and Young People”. The total grant is SEK 72 million for a period of five years.
The purpose of the initiative is to increase knowledge about the learning of children and youths, how they are motivated, how they create concepts and how their memory functions. The purpose is also to utilise this new knowledge to achieve improved learning conditions as regards day nurseries, preschools, schools and universities.
The research area is defined with three main sections:
Emotion and motivation
Concept formation and concept development
Interactive learning processes
The call for applications was made in 2006. A total of 18 applications were received. A programme council with representatives from the financiers and five researchers, representing different parts of the learning process, has, with the assistance of expert statements and interviews, unanimously selected the following four researchers to receive funding for three years. After an evaluation, there is a possibility to receive funding for two additional years.
Professor Stefan Samuelsson, Linköping University (SEK 5 million)
En internationell longitudinell tvillingundersökning av tidig språklig och kognitiv utveckling, läs- och skrivinlärning, matematik och uppmärksmhet (An international longitudinal twin study of early linguistic and cognitive development, reading and writing learning, mathematics and attention).
The purpose is to study genetic and environmentally-related influences on children’s early reading and writing learning and mathematic abilities, as well as attention.
Professor Roger Säljö, University of Gothenburg (SEK 13 million)
Att lära och minnas interaktiva teknologier i ett narrativt perspektiv (To learn and memorise interactive technologies in a narrative perspective).
The purpose is to study how our means of learning, memorising and organising changes through the use of digital techniques.
Professor Juha Kere, Karolinska Institutet (SEK 12 million)
Biologiska mekanismer bakom dyslexi: de genetiska riskfaktorerna och deras reglering (Biological mechanisms behind dyslexia: the genetic risk factors and their regulation).
The overall purpose of the project is to explain the neurobiological background of dyslexia.
Professor Torkel Klingberg, Karolinska Institutet (SEK 16 million)
Brain Child - en longitudinell studie av minnesfunktioner hos barn (Brain Child – a longitudinal study of children’s memory functions).
The purpose of the project is to unite neurobiological and pedagogical perspectives on memory and learning. The goal is to study how learning, skills, reading and problem solving are dependent on underlying psychological functions, interventions, structural brain maturity, genetics and environmental factors.
Updated 15 September 2008.