Keynote Speakers

Gerhard Büttner (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)

Gerhard Büttner

Gerhard Büttner is a professor of Educational Psychology at the Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. He is head of the research group Cognitive Development and Training of Children and Scientific Director of the department’s counseling service center for children with learning disabilities, ADHD, and giftedness. Moreover, he is principal investigator at the Research Center for Individual Development and Adaptive Education of Children at Risk (IDeA). From 2010 until 2014 he was coordinator of the SIG Special Educational Needs of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI).

His main research interests focuses on working memory in children with learning and intellectual disabilities, giftedness, executive functions, self-regulated learning, and teaching quality in primary school.

Selection of recent publications:

  • Büttner, G. & Hasselhorn, M. (2011). Learning disabilities: Debates on definitions, causes, subtypes, and responses. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 58 (1), 75-87.
  • Brandenburg, J., Klesczewski, J., Fischbach, A., Schuchardt, K., Büttner, G., & Hasselhorn, M. (2014). Working memory in children with learning disabilities in reading versus spelling: Searching for overlapping and specific cognitive factors. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48, 622-634.
  • Decristan, J., Klieme, E., Kunter, M., Hochweber, J., Büttner, G., Fauth, B., Hondrich, L. Rieser, S, Hertel, S. & Hardy, I. (2015). Embedded formative assessment and classroom process quality: How do they interact in promoting science understanding? American Educational Research Journal, 52, 1133-1159.
  • Dignath, C., Büttner, G. & Langfeldt, H.-P. (2008). How can primary school students acquire self-regulated learning most efficiently? A meta-analysis on interventions that aim at fostering self-regulation. Educational Research Review, 3, 101-129.
  • Fauth, B., Decristan, J., Rieser, S., Klieme, E. & Büttner, G. (2014). Student ratings of teaching quality in primary school: Dimensions and prediction of student outcomes. Learning and Instruction, 29, 1–9.
  • Kistner, S., Rakoczy, K., Otto, B., Dignath-van Ewijk, C., Büttner, G. & Klieme, E. (2010). Promotion of self-regulated learning in classrooms: investigating frequency, quality, and consequences for student performance. Metacognition and Learning, 5, 157-171.
  • Klesczewski, J., Brandenburg, J., Fischbach, A., Grube, D., Hasselhorn, M. & Büttner, G. (2015). Working memory functioning in children with poor mathematical skills: Relationships to IQ–achievement discrepancy and additional reading and spelling difficulties. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 223 (2), 83-92.
  • Poloczek, S., Büttner, G. & Hasselhorn, M. (2012). Relationships between working memory and academic skills: Are there differences between children with intellectual disabilities and typically developing children? Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 11 (1), 20-38.
  • Poloczek, S., Büttner, G., & Hasselhorn, M. (2014). Phonological short-term memory impairment and the word length effect in children with intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35, 455-462.
  • Rieser, S., Fauth, B., Decristan, J., Klieme, E., & Büttner, G. (2013). The connection between primary school students’ self-regulation in learning and perceived teaching quality. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 12(2), 138–156.

Abstract of the keynote presentation:

Working memory functioning in children with learning disabilities

The presentation describes the results of a multicenter longitudinal project (RAVEN) on working memory in primary school children with learning disabilities (dyslexia, dyscalculia). Learning disabilities are defined as poor academic achievement in reading, spelling, and math which cannot be explained by age, inadequate instruction or IQ. In the literature deficits in working memory are discussed as a significant factor that effects learning disabilities. The aim of the project RAVEN was to explore (1) relationships between working memory and disabilities in reading, spelling, and math, (2) the development of working memory and its subsystems (central executive, phonological loop, visuo-spatial sketchpad) in children with and without learning disabilities, and (3) the usefulness of working memory as a diagnostic tool for predicting the further development of children with learning disabilities. The subsystems of working memory proved to significantly differ in their association with disabilities in reading, spelling, and math. Moreover, the developmental trajectories of the subsystems were similar but not totally identical in children with and without learning disabilities. The presentation emphasizes the significance of the results of the project for diagnostics and intervention.


Alex Kozulin (Achva College & Feuerstein Institute)

Alex Kozulin

Professor Alex Kozulin is Head of M.Ed. program in Special Education at Achva Academic College and the Director of International Research and Training at the Feuerstein Institute in Jerusalem. Born in Russia he earned his Ph.D. in Psychology at the Psychological Institute in Moscow. He emigrated to the US in 1979 and in the 1980s was teaching and conducting research at Boston University in Boston, MA. He was a visiting scholar at Harvard University and a visiting professor at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and University of Exeter in the UK. He also taught at Hebrew University, Tel-Aviv University, and Ben-Gurion University in Israel. The area of his interests includes cognitive assessment and education, learning strategies, and cross-cultural studies. He is one of the major specialists in Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory and theory of mediated learning. His publications include the following books: Vygotsky's Psychology: A Biography of Ideas (Harvard University Press, 1990); Psychological Tools: A Sociocultural Approach to Education (Harvard University Press, 1998); Experience of Mediated Learning: An Impact of Feuerstein’s Theory in Education and Psychology (Pergamon Press, 2000); Vygotsky’s Educational Theory in Cultural Context (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and Rigorous Mathematical Thinking (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Abstract of keynote presentation:

Cognitive aspects of the transition from a traditional to a modern technological society

The problem of immigrant and ethnic minority students' cognitive and learning skills that once used to be of a purely academic interest has become an urgent issue in the classrooms of Europe, America and the Middle East. As a research problem, it poses a fundamental question regarding cross-cultural differences in cognition and their influences on education. As a practical problem, it emerges each time the teacher enters a culturally heterogeneous classroom with the aim of providing students with skills necessary for successful formal education. The sociocultural paradigm presents higher cognitive processes as culture-dependent and performance differences between various groups as dependent primarily on the differences in the availability of particular types of symbolic tools and techniques of their internalization in a form of inner psychological tools. Within this perspective the transition from one culture to another is operationalized as an acquisition of a new set of symbolic psychological tools and techniques of their internalization. The historical-theoretical milestones in the development of the sociocultural paradigm are associated with the work of Vygotsky and Luria in Central Asia, Cole and Scribner in West Africa, and Feuerstein in North Africa and Israel. The application of sociocultural paradigm will be illustrates by a number of recent research studies with various cultural groups including immigrants from Ethiopia in Israel. Particular emphasis will be put on the possibility that a considerable gap exists between immigrant and minority students’ problem solving performance and their learning potential. It will also be shown that some of the developmental milestones that used to be considered universal and age-related may actually be culture-dependent and not related to age. Examples of cognitive intervention programs for immigrant school-age children and young adults are provided.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Conference Dates:

February 1, 2016 – Online registration starts

September 15 – 16, 2016 (Opening Reception: September 14)


Early Bird registration deadline extended till May 15, 2016

Abstract submission deadline: August 25, 2016

Online registration deadline August 25, 2016