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Children who struggle to learn

14-30% of children and adolescents worldwide experience barriers to learning


Department for Education, 2019

National Centre for Education Statistics, 2019

Neurodevelopmental diversity results in some children receiving a clinical diagnosis of a developmental disorder, while others experience learning difficulties in the absence of a diagnosis. Regardless, finding it difficult to learn in class is very common. And the profiles of children who find learning harder vary widely in scope and impact. 

Some children are formally diagnosed via specialist education services, with categories including dyslexia, dyscalculia or developmental language disorder (DLD). Others, such as Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyspraxia, or autism, are normally diagnosed in clinical services. However, many children who struggle will never receive a formal label, despite meeting the criteria for multiple different diagnoses (e.g.

Much of our research has focused on better understanding these cognitive and learning profiles, irrespective of diagnosis, and how this is related to brain development. 


Alongside our academic papers, the 4D Group spends a lot of time thinking about how our research can have an impact in schools. We have prepared various materials that give a grounding in some key elements of cognitive and developmental psychology. Below you will find a selection of talks, interviews, and other materials that you might find useful. Enjoy! 

Group Leader Duncan being interview by

Derek Bell, the Director of Learnus

A selection of materials from talks and workshops

Here are some of the materials that we have used recently for a wide variety of different audiences, including the public and educational professionals

Slides from the Annual Keynote for Learnus, an education charity and think-tank. Watch the live talk here

Slides from a training workshop used in SEND conferences and inset training in schools.

Short talk on working memory training, used in multiple settings, including a public engagement talk at the Science Museum with Pride In STEM. Watch the live talk here

Slides from Nottinghamshire County Council Educational Services training workshop 

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