In this second installment of Brain Rules, I’ll introduce 6 additional brain rules to leverage in understanding the ways we think, learn and retain new information. Hopefully, you can incorporate some of these into your routine to help you study more efficiently and effectively.Read More
Improving Academic Performance
In Brain Rules, John Medina, a molecular biologist and student of the brain, dissects the way our brains work, providing practical tips and advice for how to harness your brain’s ability to learn and grow to be more successful in every avenue of life from school to work and more.
Oftentimes, students feel that the only way they can improve academically or enhance their performance on exams is by taking an expensive course or hiring a tutor, someone else to teach them. While seeking-out academic help is certainly important and can help you make great strides, there are many things you can do on your own to improve your brain function and ability to better comprehend and recall information.Read More
Reading and writing are two skillsets that are imperative in school. Any successful student will tell you that both reading and writing are keys to improving grades and learning. You cannot be successful in school without reading and writing. Fortunately, these are two highly valuable skills that can also be easily improved. However, keep in mind that to get better at anything you must be dedicated to practicing regularly, the same goes for reading and writing. Here are some easy ways to improve your reading and writing skills to help you become a successful student.Read More
Much as an athlete benefits from a good coach, a student can reap incredible benefits from a supportive tutor. Tutoring, in many ways, is similar to coaching: it requires relationship building, positive reinforcement, support, and a true, unwavering interest in a student’s success. The right tutor can be the difference between struggle and success. With a willing and coachable student, a tutor can identify weaknesses, build confidence, and act as a constant support. There are many instances when hiring a tutor can be beneficial, including:Read More
Tutors have existed for as long as man. Elders helping the younger generation learn the skill sets necessary to survive in their environment. Of course, early tutoring focused more on gathering food and creating shelter than on memorizing math tables. Fast forward to our test driven and memorization based school curriculum. Students have to absorb and repeat mountains of information on a regular basis. They have to work quickly, efficiently, and a strong competitive sense emerges in most classrooms from an early age. Most parents feel their children need to keep up, and some are concerned with even “Average” performance. As a result, Americans spend billions of dollars each year for tutoring support for their children.Read More
I’ve come to firmly believe the benefits of online tutoring far outweigh the downsides. From online GMAT tutoring to online statistics tutoring to online chemistry tutoring and many other subjects (some of which require a virtual whiteboard, some of which don’t), we have a long list of success stories around delivering private, customized tutoring online.
I recognize that for some students, the stress associated with not understanding key concepts and being generally behind in a class can be exacerbated by trying to become familiar with new technology. But I believe many students who have just a slight bias toward in-person and away from virtual tutoring would be well served by re-considering an online approach.Read More
In the past few years, I’ve read a lot of articles and visited many web-sites to learn more about what drives academic performance and to identify mutually beneficial partnerships. I have chosen one web-site, one “app,” one blog, one online course, and one podcast. I believe any given student should at least be familiar with many of the ideas covered by each of these resources. As such, parents, high school, college, and graduate students, as professionals of any age, could benefit from spending time exploring each resource below.Read More
In a recent Linkedin article, I wrote about how we tend to underappreciate the importance of strategy relative to hard work or intelligence in understanding why some people succeed and others fail in any given professional, academic, or personal endeavor. I also suggested that my experience as a business strategy consultant has helped me realize that there are powerful principles of strategy development used by businesses that students could borrow to improve their academic performance. The idea that you can perform well in school by
In that article, I introduced three particularly important elements of business strategy development.
- The strategy development process – or, the process companies use to come up with ideas for what to do or not to do to beat the competition.
- The concept of market attractiveness vs. competitive position, which explains whether a company is likely to succeed (or fail) because it operates in a good market (or a bad one), is doing something better than its direct competitors, or some combination
- The notion of key success factors vs. core competencies, which helps explains why a company is positioned well in any given market (or not)
In this article, I’ll explore point 1 above, how an understanding of the strategy development process could help students improve their performance in any given class.Read More
Guiding students to a deeper mastery of mathematics, science, or language arts skills is a daunting challenge, since no two students are completely alike and instruction must, therefore, be individualized. However, “the wheel need not be entirely reinvented” for each student: after a diagnostic assessment has been administered, it is possible to view the individual student as aligning with one or another of several basic groups (or demonstrating a need for targeted instruction in multiple areas at once)
I work primarily with language arts students, so this article is geared towards that subject. But a similar approach can likely be applied to most other subjects.Read More
In part two of our introduction to How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character we explored the cognitive hypothesis, which suggests that success today depends primarily on cognitive skills (e.g., reading, writing, recognizing patterns, calculating, etc.) the type of intelligence that gets tested on IQ or standardized tests, and that the best way to build these skills is to practice them as early and often as possible.
In part three, we’ll explore one of the major themes of the book, which is that “character,” and more specifically “performance character” is the more fundamental driver of success, and it too can be nurtured and developed. Tough believes society has gotten significantly off track, focusing too much on building a narrow set of cognitive skills and abilities, and taking a misguided approach to teaching children how to build all-important “character” skills.Read More