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How to Become a SuperStar Student, 2nd Edition

How to Become a SuperStar Student, 2nd Edition

Professor Michael Geisen M.A.
National Teacher of the Year
Course No.  1050
Course No.  1050
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Course Overview

About This Course

18 lectures  |  33 minutes per lecture

The number one problem facing many high-school students: They haven't been taught how to learn. Because our current educational system focuses on test results, on making sure students memorize the facts and material needed to pass standardized tests, few students are deliberately taught about learning—about developing the particular mind-set and using the specific skills that can help them graduate with exemplary grades and an exemplary mind.

In fact, learning is a skill that your student can easily make a part of his or her everyday life and use as a powerful tool for success, both inside and outside the classroom. All it takes is a mastery of research-proven strategies, including

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The number one problem facing many high-school students: They haven't been taught how to learn. Because our current educational system focuses on test results, on making sure students memorize the facts and material needed to pass standardized tests, few students are deliberately taught about learning—about developing the particular mind-set and using the specific skills that can help them graduate with exemplary grades and an exemplary mind.

In fact, learning is a skill that your student can easily make a part of his or her everyday life and use as a powerful tool for success, both inside and outside the classroom. All it takes is a mastery of research-proven strategies, including

  • recognizing one's learning style, and tapping into its specific strengths;
  • taking notes effectively to avoid missing out on what's being covered in class;
  • knowing how to organize and prioritize homework and class projects;
  • solving problems with creativity and critical thinking; and
  • approaching tests with focus, thorough preparation, and confidence.

Professor Michael Geisen, the 2008 National Teacher of the Year, has spent his teaching career showing thousands of students these and other skills. And with How to Become a SuperStar Student, 2nd Edition, he can give your own student the same vital skills that will carry him or her through high school, college, and well into the challenges of adult life. This highly engaging 12-lecture course is a commonsense guide to learning, one that addresses the areas that students have the most difficulty with—and that parents show the most concern about. Packed with advice, tips, tricks, and resources, this masterfully updated version of our highly popular study guide course has the power to transform your student's education into a world-class learning experience.

A Ready Aid Designed for Any Student

Professor Geisen believes that success in school is about being a strong learner. He's designed How to Become a SuperStar Student, 2nd Edition to be a powerful reference tool for your student, whether he or she is

  • struggling in a particular subject area and looking for a new way to approach it,
  • getting by in class but looking for the boost that will turn him or her into an outstanding student, or
  • making the grade already and seeking to strengthen his or her competitive edge.

Professor Geisen knows the problems and pitfalls that can often leave students discouraged about school. Most important: He knows exactly how to counteract that discouragement and make learning not just worthwhile but fun. The course features whimsical animations, detailed demonstrations, and moments of humor—all designed to help capture your student's attention and emphasize the joy to be found in learning.

Plus—A Bonus Disc Designed Just for Parents

Every copy of How to Become a SuperStar Student, 2nd Edition comes with an additional six lectures, which Professor Geisen has designed specifically for the parents of middle- and high-school students. This Parents' Guide covers concepts and tips backed up by academic research, years of teaching experience, and input from other teachers, parents, and students. These include

  • how to help your student with his or her homework,
  • how to effectively communicate your student's needs to teachers,
  • how to prepare your student for college and the future, and
  • how to raise your student with balance, confidence, and humility.

"You're the person who knows your child best," Professor Geisen—a parent himself—remarks at the start of these additional lectures. "Therefore, you need to be an integral part of the process."

And you can start by giving your student the keys to success in learning with How to Become a SuperStar Student, 2nd Edition. Filled with all the best practices students who want to win need to know, these lectures will forever change the way your student, and even you, think about education.

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18 Lectures
  • 1
    Understanding Your Unique Intelligence
    In this introductory lecture, students learn what intelligence is, how it reveals itself in multiple ways (including visual, spatial, interpersonal, and logical intelligence), and several characteristics that all great students share. x
  • 2
    Developing Effective Habits in Class
    Students explore three keys to success in the classroom: preparing, participating, and taking good notes. How can they make preparing for class quick and simple? How can they participate in class without looking “dorky”? What are the best ways to take notes while still paying attention to what’s going on in class? x
  • 3
    Working Cooperatively in Groups
    Professor Geisen focuses on the techniques of effective group work. Students discover how to structure their group to use everyone’s strengths; how to avoid the dangers of insensitivity by communicating with tact; and how to reach a consensus using a variety of methods, including dot voting and weighted voting. x
  • 4
    Managing Time and Organizing Spaces
    By navigating their busy lives more effectively, students can free up more time and space for true learning—and things they really like to do. First, students will bust the myth that multitasking actually works. Then, they’ll develop strategies for planning and prioritizing activities. Finally, they’ll learn some secrets to keeping themselves—and their work—organized. x
  • 5
    Taking Charge of Homework
    Here, Professor Geisen gives students tips for creating the perfect study environment, offers them study techniques that fit with their unique learning style, and demonstrates ways to take truly effective notes. x
  • 6
    Developing a Creative Mind
    Students take a closer look at play, risk, trust, and other mind-sets needed for creative thinking, as well as practical techniques for brainstorming, using a different viewpoint, and changing their environment. x
  • 7
    Thinking Critically
    Students turn to the second half of thinking: critical thinking, where they decide what to do with all their ideas. They explore how to evaluate evidence, recognize bias, distance themselves from emotions, use logic and reasoning, and much more. x
  • 8
    Diving into Research
    The ability to research effectively is a huge factor in students' success. Professor Geisen guides them through the process of pre-searching, searching, evaluating, and organizing. They’ll also get tips for working with the wide range of sources available to the 21st-century student. x
  • 9
    Writing Well
    Whatever kind of learning style students have, all it takes to strengthen and improve their writing is following a series of guidelines and techniques. They’ll discover the secrets to choosing powerful words, building effective paragraphs, organizing entire essays, spending the right amount of time drafting and editing their work, and more. x
  • 10
    Delivering Dynamic Presentations
    Develop an opening hook that takes advantage of a startling image or fact. Organize your speech or presentation the way you would organize a research paper. Make sure to use visual aids sparingly but effectively. These are just three of the many strategies students will find here for delivering dynamic presentations. x
  • 11
    Taking Control of Tests
    In this lecture, students find out what it takes to perform at their best when the stakes are high: taking tests. They’ll learn how to prepare themselves for various types of tests, focus their studying on what they need to know, combat test anxiety, attack tests with a clear strategy, learn from their wrong answers, and more. x
  • 12
    Finding Balance
    Students learn the importance of maintaining balance in their lives. Professor Geisen’s pointed advice includes getting more efficient with their time, cutting back on things that prevent them from achieving their goals, and diving deep into a couple of activities they really love to do. x
  • 13
    Managing Your Child’s Education
    The most important teacher in a student’s life: his or her parents. Professor Geisen shows you how to become a true learner, why most learning happens outside the classroom, and how you can adapt to the continually changing landscape of 21st-century education. x
  • 14
    Understanding How We Learn
    Approach learning with wisdom from neuroscience and educational research. How do our brains assimilate information? What can you do when your student is out of his or her comfort zone on an assignment? How can you help your student embrace his or her learning style? x
  • 15
    Helping with Homework
    Discover how to create the perfect mood, space, and time for your student’s academic success; how to help your student with homework—and how much help to give; and what to do when you don’t have the answers. x
  • 16
    Working with Teachers
    Professor Geisen reveals the two foundations of a solid parent-teacher relationship, offers tips to improve communication, and provides options for effectively handling problems and complaints. x
  • 17
    Preparing for College and the Future
    How you talk about and expose your student to college makes a huge difference in how he or she approaches this subject. Which post-high-school option is best for your child? What are colleges looking for in applicants? Find the answers to these questions and more. x
  • 18
    Parenting with Balance
    Professor Geisen offers you candid advice on being the best parent you can be—all from the perspective of his role as a teacher. You’ll find tips and exercises to ensure that you’re inspiring, not forcing, your child to learn and live a responsible life. x

Lecture Titles

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Michael Geisen
M.A. Michael Geisen
National Teacher of the Year
Professor Michael Geisen was selected from among millions of public-school educators to serve as the National Teacher of the Year in 2008. In this position, he traveled nationally and internationally as an ambassador for the teaching profession, helping educators, policymakers, and community members meet the needs of high-school students in a rapidly changing 21st-century world. Professor Geisen was a middle-school science teacher at Crook County Middle School in Prineville, Oregon, for 10 years. He has received numerous other teaching awards and accolades. He was selected as the 2009 Outstanding Teacher in K-12 Education by the Oregon Academy of Sciences and was named the Toshiba Innovator in Education in Tokyo, Japan, and the 2007-2008 Oregon Teacher of the Year.
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Rated 4.4 out of 5 by 23 reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Strong recommendation from college student ! I bought & gave this course to a very close, dearly loved family member who's attending college in the States. She reports that it has been of great help to her. I'm delighted ! October 9, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Worth every penny! Great investment! We homeschool our three children, and they range in age from 7-14. Everyone in the family, including my husband and me, are enjoying this course. And my husband is so thrilled with the content, he wants the kids to watch them more quickly than I had planned in my scheduling. We both are anxious to get all of this course material into our kids as soon as possible. I like that the courses come with a printed guide that gives us some structure for a discussion. If The Great Courses would like to ratchet this up just one more notch, it would be great to have some formal discussion questions, maybe some things the students could write out for their responses to help solidify the ideas in their minds. But overall, fantastic course and very entertaining teaching style that makes watching a pleasure. (I would warn that this is not presented with a Christian worldview, and while we haven't run across anything outright offensive, there have been a few ideas that don't line up with ours and have required a little discussion. For example, there are references to keeping a boyfriend or girlfriend happy, and we don't see that as a given in every student's life. We prefer that adults not talk about boyfriend and girlfriend relationships as if they're expected at a certain age.) August 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Very Worthwhile Course! My late wife was a long time high school teacher and I worked with her both with our own children but also her students and sometimes with their parents. As a member of Phi Beta Kappa and having been my college nominee for the Rhodes scholarship (alas lost out at regionals to Yale law student) and having graduated at top (well ok, number two - but remember we try harder!) of my law class at a top law school I have some idea of what is needed for success in school. As a grandparent I bought this course for my son who is a university professor and whose first born will be starting Kindergarten this year. So why did I buy this course now? I bought this course to put aside until grandchildren are ready but also for my son and his wife (both also top students) to perhaps find some helpful hints before their children become students. I have always felt there is no subject about which I could not learn more, even one that I already know something about. My wife and I were fortunate to have raised two children who were highly successful in school and who have gone on to have outstanding careers. So was there something for me to learn from this course? Absolutely, I did learn new things that I thought were useful. In fact I felt listening to the course there were ideas that would have helped me as a parent when my children were young despite how well they both succeeded in school and life. My wife and I devoted a part of our time to helping children with learning disabilities and in that pursuit we learned a great deal about brain research. In that regard I find that this course is solid in its background when discussing studies coming out of that research. I have to admit that while I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the presenter in the beginning I thought it over the top. But I also realized he is trying to reach students who in middle and high school are tough to reach and his style and manner of presentation I suspect is intentionally geared to trying to keep their interest and attention. And when getting to the six lectures for parents it is obvious in difference in tone and technique that this is his intent. Use of graphics is excellent as it his manner and organization of presentation. At the time he did this course he said his own children had yet to reach middle and high school and I have a sneaky feeling he will be changing some of this course after he has gone through that process. But that said his own experience with students in middle school certainly helps him understand those years. Strong areas in my view are his review of different types of intelligence, the discussion of multitasking, his diamond shaped analysis of different abilities (which frankly I did not understand fully until he got to the parent section) and the lessons on writing and presentation. His lesson on homework and test taking were also excellent. Overall this is an outstanding course and should be a great benefit for parents and students. It is a course I can highly recommend. April 14, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by It is so good it should be longer! My daughter likes everything about this course. It is encouraging, and the professor is entertaining and instructive all at the same time. December 11, 2013
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