GFA was delighted to host Professor Dan Willingham as the 2023 Coyle Scholar, offering an insightful day of conversations aimed at setting the stage for academic success.
A cognitive scientist and professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, Willingham is widely recognized for his best-selling books, including his latest publication, "Outsmart Your Brain: Why Learning is Hard and How You Can Make It Easy." His expertise lies in unraveling the intricacies of how the brain learns. Notably, Professor Willingham has gained significant popularity on platforms like TikTok, amassing millions of likes through his concise "how-to" guides on study mindsets and strategies.
On Sunday, October 15, GFA opened its doors to the public for a captivating keynote by Willingham, titled "Unlocking Learning Potential: Proven Strategies to Simplify Learning." His presentation offered concrete methods to enhance a child's productivity, advocating for concepts like "study by time, not task," and stressing the significance of creating a distraction-free learning environment. The evening culminated in an engaging Q&A session, where parents had the opportunity to ask specific questions. The lively discussions focused on the ways in which students can adapt their daily routines to find balance and success in their studies.
The following day, Professor Willingham dedicated his time to interacting with GFA students and faculty, observing various classes and engaging with the school community. GFA seniors were invited to have lunch with Willingham for an hour during which they explored a wide range of questions predominantly focused on effective study habits. His response highlighted the importance of mindfulness and introduced techniques aimed at elevating academic success while alleviating the anxieties often associated with studying. He counseled the students to approach studying with curiosity and strive for excellence.
Click here to watch Professor Willingham's keynote address on Sunday.