Scott Groza is the co-founder of the Groza Learning Center, where the longtime educator remains dedicated to instilling in students a lifelong love of learning while also upholding lofty academic performance standards. The Groza Learning Center, which is located in Pacific Palisades, California, has earned widespread acclaim and recognition for routinely providing students with highly individualised academic programs designed to yield the greatest learning gains possible.
1. What are the most effective strategies available to students who wish to get the most out of an academic program?
I think it is important that students cultivate a network of support that includes friends and family members as well as academic professionals such as teachers and tutors. Building a network in this way assists students in understanding the benefits of accountability while also creating greater opportunities for academic collaboration.
2. What type of educational approach do you advocate at the Groza Learning Center?
We believe that meeting the unique academic needs of each student requires an understanding of each student’s individual learning profile. Once we understand the student’s learning profile, we can then build an individualised academic program that is challenging and enjoyable in a way that leads to substantial academic progress and continued growth.
3. How do students benefit from developing a clearer understanding of their own individual learning profile?
It is not always easy for us to accurately identify our own strengths and weaknesses, and it is fairly common for students to underestimate the importance of something like their environment as it relates to academic performance. We believe that an objective approach is therefore the ideal strategy for creating a clear and comprehensive program that meets the needs of the student in the most efficient way possible.
4. What are some of the challenges you face working with students at Groza Learning Center?
Often there are students who find themselves discouraged at being incapable of understanding an assignment. This inevitably leads to a severe lack of motivation over time. We make great efforts to ensure the student does not feel inadequate. It is paramount to rebuild the self confidence first. The best way to do so is by analysing a different approach to teach the material that works better for the student. Once they start to grasp and solve the material, their self esteem and willingness to learn more shoots up.
Another challenge we face is encountering students with learning disabilities. It can be a bit of a hurdle for not only the student but the teacher as well. We employ teachers who have specialized training in dealing with learning disabled students. The most common issue we see is dyslexia. However, we also have had a few cases where we had to aid students with dyscalculia. A similar approach to analyze the issue, apply a different teaching method, and provide encouragement is beneficial to students with learning disabilities as well.
5. What was the inspiration behind setting up Groza Learning Center?
We looked at many other learning centers during the conceptual period. It was important to think outside the box to see if our learning center could approach helping students more effectively. Not only did we research centers across America, but we also took a look at those abroad such as in New Zealand and Japan. For instance, some centers integrate an open space structurally to allow students to feel more as ease. The educational atmosphere becomes more inviting rather than intimidating. It was the methodology behind foreign learning centers that we took note of.
And just for fun…
6. What is your favourite quote?
Ben Franklin is responsible for many of my most cherished quotes, including this one on education: “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
7. Who would you most like to meet (dead or alive)?
I’d relish the opportunity to spend any amount of time with Ben Franklin as well as Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle.
8. What have you learned in the last week?
In any given week I learn a great deal from our students, parents, and tutoring staff at the learning center, and I am constantly reminded that effort, when properly focused, makes anything possible.
9. What is your favourite sport?
Living in Southern California, the weather is ideal for outdoor sports throughout the entire year, and we are fortunate to have quite a few professional sports franchises worth watching during any season. Baseball, especially when played during the summertime at Dodger Stadium, has always held a special appeal to me.
10. When was the last time you felt nervous?
Knowing the stakes sometimes involved with certain exams, I usually feel a kind of nervous excitement whenever one of our students is about to take an important exam. It’s so gratifying to hear how a student’s hard work has paid off, particularly at such a critical moment in their academic career.
Find out more about Scott and The Groza Learning Center on their website www.grozalearningcenter.com