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Spacing Simultaneously Promotes Multiple Forms of Learning in Children's Science Curriculum

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The spacing effect refers to the robust finding that long-term memory is promoted when learning events are distributed in time rather than massed in immediate succession. The current study extended research on the spacing effect by examining whether spaced learning schedules can simultaneously promote multiple forms of learning, such as memory and generalization, in the context of an educational intervention. Thirty-six early elementary school-aged children were presented with science lessons on one of three schedules: massed, clumped, and spaced. At a 1-week delayed test, children in the spaced condition demonstrated improvements in both memory and generalization, significantly outperforming children in the other conditions. However, there was no observed relationship between children's memory performance and generalization performance. The current study highlights directions for future research and contributes to a growing body of work demonstrating the benefits of spaced learning for educational curriculum. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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