Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Lisa Archibald


This study uses a qualitative, post-positive grounded theory approach to investigate the process of teaching primary students with working memory impairments. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were used to collect data specific to students with WMI from nine primary teachers. After transcript coding and data analysis, themes were extracted from the data. The themes reflect how having a working memory impairment may alter the students’ education. The interacting themes included: learning with a working memory impairment and the characteristics of the student, adaptations made by the teacher including effective teaching strategies , and adaptations made by the students as a result of their self-awareness of their weaknesses. The students were found to be struggling with the academic curriculum in language, reading, and math. Some students also struggled with their behaviour and social abilities. The strategies teachers used to assist their students with learning included: reducing cognitive load by simplifying material, reducing cognitive load by activating prior knowledge, and focusing attention. Additionally, some students used self-strategies to support their own learning. The findings of this study may inform future research particular to this group, including intervention studies. Additionally, the findings offer important information for educators teaching students with similar learning profiles.