The Seminar

Educators, parents, and even students themselves agree that most students can and should be doing much better in school than they are. The SuperStudent® Seminar provides an arsenal of proven techniques and information, not usually available to students, to make achieving academic success much easier. The SuperStudent Seminar will help students to:

  • Remember large amounts of data quickly and easily
  • Take effective notes
  • Improve test performance
  • Enjoy school

Plus, the SuperStudent Seminar encourages creativity and enhances self-esteem. Students discover that they have much more powerful brains than they thought, and they learn how to take more initiative in their studies.

Visual Thinking is the Foundation

As children, we all think visually at first. Our early education is primarily visual; our first books are heavily illustrated, and we learn through flash card pictures, building blocks, paints and crayons, and frequently, television. Our brains love to think in pictures.

As we progress through school, however, visual thinking is gradually discouraged in favor of a more verbal, analytical approach. Textbooks have fewer pictures and graphics. Our early visual training is gradually abandoned. Yet our ability to learn information visually is still there, often lying dormant.

The SuperStudent Seminar teaches students how to use these visual thinking skills as a powerful support tool for the verbal/analytic skills being taught in school.

The SuperStudent Seminar consists of four sections:

1) Memory

Students’ grades often depend on how well they remember academic material. Yet few students have ever been shown how to remember large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. Instead of the tedious and ineffective rote memory approach that most students rely on, they will be shown how to:

  • Associate new material with what they already know
  • Make names, dates, and facts come alive
  • Learn how to easily retrieve information from their brain
  • Remember far more than they ever thought possible

The visual thinking exercises in this section encourage creative and fluid thinking. With “before and after” examples, students see the enormous difference these easier memory techniques can make.

2) Note-Taking

Most students don’t know how to take effective notes. The purpose of notes is to distill important information in a memorable way. But notes tend to be disorganized (often filled with distracting doodles), incomplete, or overly complete — an accurate summary, but far too much information to make review easy.

The SuperStudent Seminar teaches a new style of note-taking based on visual mapping techniques. This notetaking system:

  • Streamlines information recording, making it easy for students to keep up with the material while taking notes
  • Is very visual, making information much easier to remember
  • Shows information in a logical hierarchy
  • Encourages analysis during the notetaking, making the student a participant in the note-taking process, rather than just a passive recorder of information to be digested later
  • Makes reviewing for tests much easier
  • Helps students organize their thoughts for essay exams

And, it’s almost as fun as doodling!

3) Improving Test Performance/Reducing Test Anxiety

Olympic athletes today use mental rehearsal as an essential component in their training. These same mental training exercises can be used by students to improve their test scores. Often students who have studied hard for a test, experience panic when they can’t recall information quickly under the pressure. As a result, their anxiety increases, making it even more difficult for the student to finish the test successfully. If this happens often enough, students may start to see themselves as poor test-takers and consequently as poor students.

The SuperStudent Seminar teaches students how to :

  • Mentally rehearse taking a test
  • Visualize success and eliminate negative self-talk
  • Reduce test anxiety

Students are given actual practice in the same type of guided imagery exercises that athletes use, and learn relaxation exercises that they can use before an exam.

4) How To Enjoy School

Fascinating research has recently emerged from the University of Chicago on what makes experiences so enjoyable that people describe them as high points in their lives. These peak experiences, called “flow” experiences, were shown to have a number of elements in common:

1) clear goals with immediate feedback; 2) use of skills that challenge the individual; 3) a sense of control over the activity; 4) concentration on the task at hand; and 5) suppression of concerns for the self during the activity.

School can and should be an exciting, absorbing flow experience! Students will be shown how to structure their school work along these lines to:

  • Set clear, appropriate, and challenging goals for each study or class session
  • Develop a skills tracking system, so they can see their progress daily
  • Concentrate more effectively to become absorbed and engrossed in their material
  • Develop their own personal “mission statement” to help give meaning to their studies

Answers to commonly asked questions:

Q: How do you manage to keep students’ interest?

A: Variety! For example, I use magic tricks to illustrate some points. The seminar uses group discussion, individual exercises, and graphic examples. Also, most of this material is so unusual that students are fascinated anyway.

Q: Doesn’t an emphasis on memory skills take away from thinking skills?

A: Not at all. Students can’t learn how to think unless they have something to think about. They need a database of facts from which to reason. If teachers can spend less time just getting the students to “learn the material,” they can spend more time teaching analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of the material.

Interestingly, memory training using visual images was a cornerstone of the ancient Greek and Roman education. And this classical memory training continued to be taught through the Renaissance. Unfortunately, it got confused with the justly unpopular rote-memory method, and is seldom taught or used today.

Q: This seminar seems like it will appeal to the students who are already academically motivated. What about the other students?

A: The SuperStudent Seminar is designed to help not only those students who are already doing well, but also those students who are struggling. It gives all students a boost. Visually-oriented students, especially, often cannot “connect” with a class that is extremely verbal and analytical. When students have a variety of study strategies to choose from, they are able to finally get the information to “click” for them, and to keep up with their classmates.