The information processing model

The following example of an information processing model gives an insight into how the brain processes information and where that information is stored in our memory. It stems from the ideas of several theorists (Atkinson & Shriffen 1968; Nessier 1976; R. Gagne 1985.)

In my teaching environment, the implications that could stem from this model could be the importance of trying to connect the topic about to be discussed with the students. Sensory memory consists of two elements, perception and attention. ‘ The capacity of sensory memory is very large, and can take in more information than we can possibly handle at once’ (Woolfolk, A & Margetts, K 2007, p. 259). From my experience if the topic isn’t first connected to a student’s previous life or learning experience, they may fail to see its relevance and the information that I am delivering may at first be heard by the student however If there is no connection made they will fail to have a perception of the topic and hold no attention, leading to the memory being lost.

If a connection is made in sensory memory the information is then stored in working memory. This is only a temporary storage for information and only has a small capacity of storage. Woolfolk & Margetts (2007) state that ‘ Information in working memory is fragile and easily lost’. This statement could lead to the notion that in order to hold information in working memory, I would need to keep the information activated with my students through different forms of rehearsal. This could be through maintenance rehearsal or elaborative rehearsal and by chunking particular groups of data into larger and more significant ones.

Once the information in working memory has been rehearsed and sorted, the information can now be passed into long term memory. With my students, the implications would now be how to access that information once it has been stored. ‘ Our access to information in working memory is immediate because we are thinking about the information at that very moment. But that access to information in long term memory requires time and effort’ (Woolfolk, A & Margetts, K 2007, p. 266). This statement would imply that in order to encourage my students to access the required information I need to identify how my students make connections to learning topics and what their learning styles are.