It can be frustrating when we don't remember well., and it can be particularly frustrating when those around us are remembering things that we cannot. It is pretty clear that memory plays an important role in learning.
Most educators and professionals distinguish between short term memory and long term memory. In addition to this we have what is called "working memory". It seems pretty simple to distinguish between short term and long term memory; however what is the difference between short term memory and working memory.
So what is it that makes short term memory different from "working memory", and what role does working memory play in our ability to solve-problems and remembers things in the long term?
Working memory implies that we are holding information in our mind at the same time that we are manipulating information in some way. Wikipedia makes a distinction between short term and working memory stating that, "Short term memory should be distinguished from working memory which refers to the process of storing and manipulating information".
I suspect that the task of remembering spelling words is quite different than some mathematical process in which we need to manipulate information as we hold this and other information in our mind. Algebra requires that we remember rules as we work with equations. Children doing multiplication problems need to remember multiplication facts at the same time they may be carrying numbers from one mathematical column to another. (Although in this instance the information may be held in long term storage or memory).
How frustrating it must be when other children can keep information in their mind easily and we are not able or have a difficult time doing this. It must in some way impact the child's sense of self and their beliefs regarding their capabilities. Does this frustration ultimately have some influence on their behavior? It is often difficult when we don't measure up to others capabilities and achievements. This is a major concern regarding motivation.
Our energy too often becomes focused on what we can't do and not on what we are trying to learn or accomplish.